Saturday, August 14, 2010

Summer Caprese Salad

About once or twice a month I made a trip to Zabar's for random semi-gourmet grocery items (harissa for my in-laws, stroopwafels, olive bread fresh from the oven, and olive oils top the list) and I can't seem to resist their cheese counter.  I love cheese.  And they have all kinds of cheese.  Sometime in the past few months they started carrying burrata and I got super excited.  I love caprese salads and most uses of fresh mozzarella and burrata is an amazingly creamy, luscious type of mozzarella that I am just obsessed with.  Granted, it's not the best cheese to use on pizza and there are a few other dishes in which regular fresh mozzarella works better, but burrata is just amazing in a caprese salad.  This recipe comes from Molto Gusto and I have been waiting for tomatoes to come into season here in NYC so I could make it.  Luckily, we finally have some fresh tomatoes from the CSA to work with.

And this salad shows off the fresh summer tomatoes and the burrata to its advantage.  The vinaigrette is so light and sweet from the tomato juices and champagne vinegar.  And then that burrata is just amazingly creamy.  If you pick up some heirloom tomatoes from the farmer's market and a really nice ball of fresh mozzarella for this recipe, you won't be disappointed.  It is divine.  Like I said to Alex "This recipe is yummy.  I would eat it over, and over, and over again."  And it's just so pretty I couldn't resist adding two pictures to the post, even though they are essentially the exact same picture.

Recipe after the jump!

Summer Caprese Salad
Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking
By Mario Batali and Mark Ladner

10 oz. fresh mozzarella (I used burrata)
1 1/2 lbs. assorted ripe tomatoes
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
6 tbsp evoo
1 cup mixed fresh basil leaves
Maldon or other flaky sea salt

With a sharp knife, cut the mozzarella into 1/2-inch thick slices.  Transfer to a serving platter, reserving any milky liquid from the cheese in a small cup.

If using cherry or grape tomatoes, cut them in half; reserve the juices.  Core the remaining tomatoes and slice them, reserving the juices.  Arrange the tomatoes on the cheese.

Whisk the vinegar, reserved tomato juices, any liquid from the mozzarella, and the olive oil together in a small bowl.

Tear the basil leaves over the salad.  Pour the vinaigrette over it, sprinkle with salt, and serve.

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