|With the New Year just a few days away we felt a nice light appetizer was in order. This version of the 1920's classic Caprese Salad or Salad from the Isle of Capri, is a riff on one I have enjoyed on many occasions at Pizzeria Mozza in LaLa Land. The roasted tomatoes paired with a garlicky fresh basil pesto and a bit of Prosciutto are delicious and wonderful foils to the star of the dish the creamy burrata cheese. If you have yet to experience the joys of this unique cheese run, run right now to your local cheese monger to pick one up and please make sure it's fresh, fresh, fresh.|
|Burrata (buttered in Italian) seems to have originated like so many classic dishes as a way to use up leftovers. After a hard day producing fresh hand pulled mozzarella the cheesemakers were left with odd bits and pieces of the fresh milky cheese. These little leftovers when shredded are called stracciatella and when mixed with thick cream, are used to make the ridiculously rich and buttery textured burrata cheese.|
|The assembly goes something like this, the cheesemaker immerses a nugget of fresh mozzarella curd in very hot water and then hand forms the fresh cheese into a pouch. The stracciatella and cream is then poured inside the pouch which is sealed by pinching the top together, making a pear shaped sack. Keep in mind burrata sizes vary and I have seen them anywhere between a ½ to 1 pound in size so when you’re out shopping your culinary mileage may vary.|
|This salad is a perfect way to start a meal although rich it's still light with bright flavors and just makes you hungry for more!|
• 1 -1 1/2 pounds’ cherry tomatoes on the vine
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 ounces Prosciutto, or as needed
• 1 pound burrata cheese, or so
• Basil Walnut Pesto with Lime, see recipe
• 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, for garnish
• 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, for garnish
For the cherry tomatoes:
1. Preheat oven 500 degrees.
2. On a small prepared sheet pan drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil and season salt and pepper.
3. Place the pan in the center middle of the preheated oven and roast in oven for 10-15 minutes or until the tomatoes are blistered, remove and reserve.
To assemble the salad:
1. Drain the water from the burrata and portion as needed (one burrata can feed one as a large portion or up to 4 as appetizers)
2. Scatter the Prosciutto over a serving plate and top with the burrata.
3. Place a stem of roasted tomatoes on top of the burrata and drizzle the pesto over and around the plate.
4. Dust with a bit of the Parmesan and top with a few basil leaves, repeat as necessary.
5. Serve immediately