Burrata is an Italian cow or water buffalo milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer casing is solid cheese, while the inside contains stracciatella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture with a rich yet delicate flavour. It’s become quite a popular restaurant dish in the UK and I spotted some at Sainsbury’s the other day so I created this delicious starter for a special Covid-reunion lunch with some old friends. Cut into the crust of this creamy little ball of gorgeousness and the creamy interior spills out looking a little like a poached egg. Paired with my dressing of fresh basil and chopped olives (a cross between a pesto and a tapenade I’m calling pestade), it’s totally delicious with some crusty bread as a light lunch for one or as a starter for two.
- One burrata (serves one for a light lunch or two as a starter)
- 1 large, ripe tomato, thinly sliced
- 6 ripe cherry tomatoes, chopped into quarters
- 30g pack of fresh basil leaves
- 10 green olives, stoned and finely chopped (I used Nocella olives)
- Juice of half a small lemon
- 1 dessertspoon of extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarsely ground black pepper and a pinch of sea salt
- Focaccia or other crusty Italian bread to serve
- Pound the basil to a paste with a pinch of sea salt with a mortar and pestle.
- Chop the cherry tomatoes and olives and add to the basil paste.
- Stir in the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with black pepper.
- Arrange the thinly sliced tomato on a small plate and place the burrata in the middle.
- Spoon the pestade mixture around the edge onto the tomato slices.
- Drizzle the burrata with a little extra olive oil and scatter with coarsely ground black pepper.
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