Sunday, October 4, 2015

Burrata and Balsamic Caprese Salad

First things first, we need to talk about Burrata.  If you haven't had the pleasure of this fresh Italian cheese, we need to remedy that immediately.  The best way to describe this fresh and decadent cheese is it is basically a shell of mozzarella with a cream center.  This creates a delicious taste and a most wonderfully creamy texture.  It works beautifully in place of standard mozzarella in the Caprese salad.  I love to make a Caprese salad for guests or to bring to a potluck because it is a delicious and an easy low-carb salad.  With just three main ingredients of tomatoes, basil and cheese, you can't go wrong.  Using the Burrata takes it up a notch and in my opinion, is easier to prepare because you don't have to pre-slice the cheese.  Because the center is filled with cream, you want to slice into it as you eat.  Just throw it all together in a bowl, season with salt, pepper, EVOO and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar served with some toasted bread for those not eating low-carb and you are good to go.  This is sure to be a crowd pleaser with ANY crowd!

This is what you need:

1 lb of Tomatoes ( if you can get Heirlooms, do so!  If not, Roma would be perfect)
1-1 1/2 cup of Basil Leaves - torn
1 Baguette of Sourdough or French bread - sliced
1 12-16 oz Container of Burrata Cheese - 2 balls (if you can't find Burrata, fresh mozzarella will be fine)
2 tbsp EVOO
1-2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper

This is what you do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, slice the bread and drizzle with EVOO.  Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes.  Slice the tomatoes in about 2 inch by 1 inch pieces and tear or cut the basil to roughly the same size.  Grab a medium size bowl and layer the tomato on the bottom, add the two balls of burrata and then layer the remaining tomato and basil all around.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper around each layer.  When finished, add the EVOO and balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.  Remove toasted bread from the oven and serve!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6-10