Ten years ago I had never heard of or tasted burrata. In fact, I think it was only five years ago when I first ran across burrata at Mario Batali’s outpost located at the Las Vegas Sands in Singapore. Burrata is a rich, creamy cousin to mozzarella, made by stuffing the cheese with leftover “rags” (pieces) of mozzarella and cream.
This dish was prepared as a starter to an Easter main course of stuffed lettuce. A stunning photograph of brightly colored red cherry tomatoes, white mozzarella and a small green salad inspired me. Here the dish is made for two by putting together sautéed grape tomatoes, dressed dandelion greens (backyard arugula), burrata with balsamic vinegar and a garlic crouton made using a bâtard sized loaf of Acme Italian bread.
- 2 cups grape tomatoes sliced in half
- 3 tablespoons everyday olive oil for sautéing and toasting the crouton
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2 slices fresh crusty bread
- 1 large clove garlic cut in half
- 2 cups loosely packed dandelion greens
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
- 3 tablespoons high quality extra virgin olive oil for dressing
- 1 smallish burrata cheese
- 1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
- Grated nutmeg (optional)
- Bring a sauté pan to medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and, when heated, add the sliced tomatoes. Season to taste. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes just start to render liquid, but are still nearly firm. Remove the tomatoes from the pan, dress with a small amount of high quality olive oil and set aside.
- Preheat the broiler. Place two, ½” thick slices of bread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining everyday olive oil. Place under the broiler until lightly browned; remove to cool. When cooled, rub each slice with the half garlic clove. Set aside.
- Place trimmed dandelion greens in a small bowl and dress with champagne vinegar and 2 tablespoons of high quality olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- To assemble, place a burrata in the center of the plate (a ball of about 2 tablespoons). Sprinkle the burrata with small amounts of high quality olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ground black pepper, flaked sea salt and optional nutmeg. Surround the burrata with dressed dandelion, sautéed grape tomatoes and the garlic crouton to serve.