Make Ahead

Burrata Bruschetta with Broccoli Rabe

June 17, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

There's absolutely nothing better than a plate of burrata with fresh, late summer tomatoes, but this preparation is a close second in my book. What I love most is the contrast in flavors and textures - the sweetness of the creamy cheese playing against the bitterness of the tender broccoli rabe, each of them punctuated with flashes of pepper and lemon as their juices soften a crunchy, garlicky crouton. It's a little messy, best eaten with a knife and fork as a first course, but it's substantial enough to serve as a light main course, too. I love using plenty of young green garlic for this dish, but regular garlic works just fine. If you can't find broccoli rabe (or aren't a fan of it), you can substitute strips of Lacinato or Tuscan kale or even broccolini - and feel free to blanch your bitter greens first if you're particularly sensitive to bitter flavors. If you're lucky enough to get rabe with it's flowery blossoms, save them - they make a lovely garnish and add a nice peppery bite to the dish. Finally, while this is best with burrata, any super-fresh mozzarella will do. Make sure the cheese is at room temperature before serving - if the cheese is refrigerator-cold, you can put the wrapped cheese in a bowl of warm water for a bit so it gets really soft and its sweetness shines through. - lastnightsdinner

Test Kitchen Notes

Lastnightsdinner's headnote says it all; while there truly is no better combination than mozzarella (in any form, especially burrata) with fresh summer tomatoes, broccoli rabe makes a strong second choice as mozzarella's companion. Broccoli rabe, chile flakes, garlic, and lemon are four bold, aggressive flavors, and mozzarella softens their edges and helps them come together in this dish. When winter rolls around, and tomatoes are but a faint memory, I'll happily return to this deceivingly humble appetizer. - Rivka —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 thick slices crusty bread
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • Kosher or sea salt, plus a flaky salt for finishing
  • red chile flakes
  • juice and zest of a lemon
  • 8 ounces burrata
  1. Rub or brush a little bit of olive oil on both sides of the bread slices, then broil or grill the bread until crisp and toasted. When the toasts are cool enough to handle, rub one of the the garlic cloves on one side of each toast and set the toasts aside.
  2. Trim any tough stems and woody bits from the rabe and wash it well, leaving a small amount of water clinging to it. Roughly chop the rabe into about 1 to 2-inch lengths.
  3. Thinly slice the remaining garlic cloves, warm another tablespoon or so of the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, then add the sliced garlic, a pinch or two of chile flakes, and the broccoli rabe. Add a pinch of salt and toss the rabe until it is coated with oil, then cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. When the rabe is soft and tender, turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and zest, and gently toss.
  4. Place the toasts on a serving platter or individual plates and spoon the broccoli rabe over them. Cut the burrata into four equal pieces, being careful not to lose the milky liquid inside, then place the a piece on top of each toast, cut side up. Sprinkle a little flaky salt over the top and drizzle with your very best extra virgin olive oil.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lastnightsdinner
  • fiveandspice
  • dymnyno
  • TasteFood
  • monkeymom

10 Reviews

lastnightsdinner July 1, 2010
Thanks, fiveandspice, and Thank you Rivka for your Editors' Pick comments! I'm so glad you liked this!
fiveandspice June 18, 2010
Ooh, this looks awesome. I love burrata and broccoli raab, so I'll definitely be trying this!
lastnightsdinner June 18, 2010
Thanks, everyone. Fiore di Nonno out of Somerville, MA makes wonderful burrata. There's also great burrata available from time to time at our favorite cheese shop, Farmstead, as well as at any number of Italian markets on Federal Hill or in Boston's North End.
dymnyno June 18, 2010
Looks delicious...just curious...where do east coasters get burrata? On the west coast great burrata is found locally. My cheese importer friend said that Italian buttata took five weeks to be delivered! But, you are so much closer to Italy. So...which do you prefer?
melissav June 18, 2010
Here in South FL, I get it at WF. According to the container, it is made locally by a cheese maker in in palm beach county - about 30 minutes north of fort lauderdale.
TasteFood June 18, 2010
Said it before, and I'll say it again: Yum.
monkeymom June 17, 2010
Can't wait to try this beauty. It's a tongue twister!
mrslarkin June 17, 2010
Oh, yummy. Great photos/recipe. Picking up my first ever burrata at cheese shop tomorrow - very exciting.
MrsWheelbarrow June 17, 2010
This is beautiful. Thank you for the wonderful recipe - love the bitter/sweet contrast. Your photograph is mouthwatering.
Lizthechef June 17, 2010
Holy cow! I think I can do this, saving for July 4th gathering, right around the corner..Showing my ignorance, I've never found/used/cooked with burrata - will find!
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