The end of summer in California brings a feeling of harvest and abundance. Gardens and farmer's markets are brimming with ripe produce, and tomatoes take center stage with their captivating colors and flavors. Caprese Salad, or Insalata Caprese as it's originally known, is a beloved dish hailing from the Campania region of Italy.
Its three core ingredients — tomato, mozzarella, and basil — mirror the three colors of the Italian flag, and when combined with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, they produce a flavor so delightful that it's won the hearts of food lovers worldwide. However, if you’re seeking to elevate this dish to another level of creaminess and sophistication, then Burrata is the answer.
Burrata is an Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. At first glance, it might appear to be just a regular ball of mozzarella. But slice into it and you'll discover a soft, creamy center that gives any dish a rich, luxurious touch. This recipe takes the classic Caprese salad and gives it a sumptuous twist with the addition of Burrata.
- 2 ripe medium-sized tomatoes (choose varieties like heirloom, Roma, or beefsteak)
- 1 large ball of Burrata cheese (about 200g or 7oz)
- A handful of fresh basil leaves
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling (use top quality)
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional: Toasted pine nuts or crushed pistachios for an added crunch
- Preparation of Ingredients:
Wash: Begin by washing your tomatoes and fresh basil leaves under cold water. Gently pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. This ensures that you're working with clean ingredients, free from any residual pesticides or dirt.
Slice: Using your sharp Aura knife, slice the tomatoes into ¼-inch thick rounds. You can also cut them into wedges if you prefer a more rustic look and feel.
- Arranging the Salad:
Begin by laying the tomato slices in a single layer on a large plate or platter. You can overlap them slightly if you wish.
Gently place the Burrata cheese in the center of the tomatoes. If you're using a particularly large ball of Burrata, you can also tear it into smaller pieces and scatter them around the plate.
Intersperse the fresh basil leaves among the tomato slices, tucking them in and allowing them to peek out. Their vibrant green color will contrast beautifully with the red of the tomatoes and the white of the Burrata.
Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil generously over the tomatoes, Burrata, and basil. The oil not only adds flavor but also helps to meld the different tastes together.
Sprinkle sea salt and freshly ground black pepper over the salad. Remember, Burrata itself is quite rich and creamy, so you don't need too much salt; a light sprinkle will do.
- Finishing Touches:
If you've opted to use toasted pine nuts or crushed pistachios, sprinkle them over the salad now. They'll add a delightful crunch and a nutty flavor that compliments the creaminess of the Burrata.
Serve your Burrata Caprese Salad immediately, while the Burrata is still fresh and creamy. Pair it with a Pinot Noir or our Aperol Spritz recipe to complete the experience.
This Burrata Caprese Salad is more than just a dish; it's a celebration of fresh, quality ingredients coming together in perfect harmony. The creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture of the Burrata combined with the juiciness of ripe tomatoes, the aromatic freshness of basil, and the richness of olive oil creates an unforgettable culinary experience.
Whether you're looking to impress guests at a dinner party, preparing a romantic meal for two, or just treating yourself to a lazy Sunday afternoon, this elevated Caprese salad is a must-try. Buon appetite!