Living in Milan many years ago, we were very familiar with buffalo mozzarella. Still, we didn’t often see burrata, which originated from the Puglia region. Having visited Puglia many times since then, I have fallen in love with burrata, and we eat as much as we can when we are in Italy.
If you are not familiar with it, burrata is an Italian cow milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella. The inside contains stracciatella (or cheese threads) and cream, giving it a most unusual, soft texture. When you cut into a ball of burrata, the inner deliciousness oozes out onto the plate.
Although it isn’t always easy to buy authentic buffalo mozzarella or burrata imported from Italy, many American companies now make a decent replica. We purchase this cheese at our local Costco. Although it may not directly compare with freshly made burrata made in Puglia, it is pretty darn good!
All summer long, we gorge ourselves on tomatoes from our garden, often paired with fresh mozzarella or burrata cheese. I recently decided to roast my tomatoes with a little onion and olives, then create a vinaigrette to dress everything. After arranging the burrata on a plate, I cut it into quarters allowing the center to spread out onto the plate. After spooning the tomato and olive mixture on top of the cheese, I garnished the plate with some fresh greens and served with crusty Italian bread slices.
This is a great dish to make year-round because roasting the tomatoes enhances their flavor. This helps not perfectly ripe tomatoes develop sweetness, so even during the colder months when local seasonal tomatoes are not available, you can enjoy this dish. I serve this dish as a main course for lunch or as a starter for dinner. You can replace the burrata with fresh mozzarella if you want, and you could add a handful of watercress or baby arugula in place of the pea greens I used. Do serve with some crusty Italian bread because you are going to want to sop up all the delicious juices.
Deborah Mele 2020!
- 4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Small Red Onion. Peeled & Finely Sliced
- 12 Medium Sized Flavorful Olives, Pitted
- 1 1/2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes (Red, Yellow, or Combination), Halved
- 2 Teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 8 Small Balls Burrata or Mozzarella Cheese
- Handful of Baby Greens (See Notes Above)
- Fresh Basil Leaves To Garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and toss the onions and olives with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Bake the onions for 10 minutes, then turn.
- Add the tomatoes, and continue to roast for another 10 minutes until the tomatoes are tender and are starting to blister.
- Dump the mixture into a bowl, then add the remaining olive oil, two vinegars, salt and pepper.
- Cut the cheese into pieces and arrange on 4 individual plates.
- Spoon the tomato and olive mixture over the cheese.
- Drizzle the juices on top.
- Arrange the baby greens over the plates and garnish with fresh basil and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 346Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 490mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 16g