I will always think of Pierino when I think of burrata. For some reason (other than his 'Italianess'), I happened upon burrata in one of his recipes and put it on my 'things to do before I move away from Europe bucket list'. An item I ticked off a few weeks ago......in good time before my move home to Nigeria.
When I got some, I instantly thought of a riff on caprese - the classic tomato, basil and mozz salad. This time though, I was determined to source the finest tomatoes ever, and do something more than serve them raw. I chose to heat them in a pan, on high heat with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of fine salt.
For your info, burrata is best eaten within 24 hours of being made.....at best a couple of days. After that....it just isn't worth it!
PREP THE BURRATA: First of all, burrata (and mozarella) are best served at room temperature (not direct from the fridge). Before you serve the burrata, plonk the bag in a bowl of warm water and let it 'warm up'.
MAKE THE BASIL OIL: in a mortar and pestle, make a coarse paste of the basil, lemon zest/lemon verbena and a pinch of salt. Then add enough oil to form a liquid paste, for drizzling over the cheese once ready.
WARM THE TOMATOES: Heat up a pan for a minute and then place the tomatoes in. Sprinkle some olive oil and salt over the tomatoes and let the bottom just blister, about a minute or two. Toss the tomatoes in the pan and cook for another couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest.
PLATE UP: Remove the burrata from the water and the bag. Place on a platter and carefully cut open - the centre should ooze. Drizzle the basil oil over the top (serve the remainder on the side) and finish with the flash-fried tomatoes. Accompany with some coppa and bread, and a rocket salad, if you wish.
For the first 9 years of my life I hated food and really loved sugar till Wimpy (British Fast Food chain) changed my life! These days, all grown up, I've junked junk food and spend my days and nights on a quest - to find and share the sweet, sweet nectar that's food in The #NewNigerianKitchen!
Dreaming, cooking, eating and writing...about and adoring a strong food community that's big and bold enough to embrace the world's diverse cuisines - I'm passionate about celebrating Nigerian cuisine in its entirety.
Why do I love food so? It is forgiving. Make a recipe. Have it go bad....but wake up tomorrow and you can have another go at succeeding! Only with food!