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Author Notes: 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!
All I can say is, thank you Pierino for the introduction! —Kitchen Butterfly
Makes a small platter
- 1 'bulb' burrata cheese (about 500g)
- Small handful basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest/2 tablepoons lemon verbena
- The finest ever extra-virgin olive oil you can lay your hands on
- Salt to taste
- 1 dozen 'Honey' cherry tomatoes (or another sweet variety), washed and dried
- Ciabatta (or baguette) slices, to serve
- Optional - coppa from the neck, or your favourite one
- 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.
- Enjoy the freshness of the season!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for A&M Smackdown / Your Best Tomato Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Cherry Tomatoes
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Fresh Tomato Showstopper