While visiting my brother, Bill, in Chicago last summer, I had occasion to try something new: burrata cheese. It rocked my world.
What’s burrata? Imagine that fresh mozzarella, fresh ricotta and cream all partied together. Burrata resembles a ball of fresh mozzarella; when you cut into it, you find this soft, creamy, curd-y interior that is meltingly good. The flavor is mild and creamy, and the texture is soft, not rubbery.
If you like you a good caprese salad in summer—you know: garden tomatoes, fresh mozz, olive oil and basil—then you need to try same with burrata instead. It will make you weep.
Recently, I spotted this recipe for a salad of strawberries and burrata on BonAppetit.com, and adapted it slightly (mostly, I didn’t fuss with making a balsamic syrup and used straight balsamic vinegar instead). It’s on the rich side and makes a nice first course to be followed by a lighter main dish. In summer, we like to eat tapas-style, with a couple of light, seasonal dishes spread out over the course of an enjoyable evening. This recipe for strawberries and burrata cheese is perfect for that kind of eating.
strawberries with burrata and basil
1 ball burrata cheese (see Note)
handful of fresh strawberries, washed, trimmed and halved
drizzle of good olive oil
drizzle of balsamic vinegar
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
slivered basil or tiny basil leaves
Note: Where to buy burrata? In Cincinnati, I’ve found it at Trader Joe’s, and my web research tells me it’s available at Whole Foods as well. If you can’t find it, then fresh mozzarella (ideally imported buffalo mozzarella, which is creamier and less rubbery than domestic versions) will do.