When planning a menu, it's fun to use ingredients that are not only seasonal, but are also slightly unique. Cooking with the same ingredients can get boring and repetitive. And who wants that? If you're in need of some fresh inspiration, I've got a wonderful ingredient you absolutely need to add to your Summer dishes.
WHAT IS BURRATA?
In case you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, burrata is a type of cheese. It looks like mozzarella, and you may think it IS mozzarella, but it's not. Burrata is made from mozzarella, but it's not mozzarella. It's actually its very own variety of cheese. On the outside, it looks just like mozzarella. But the magic of burrata is what's on the inside. It has the most luscious, creamy center. Like the cheese version of a chocolate lava cake. When you cut into burrata, it spreads goodness all over your plate.....and happily mixes perfectly with whatever happens to be in its way.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BURRATA AND MOZZARELLA?
The outside of burrata is created from the curd of mozzarella. The curd is hollowed out, and the middle is filled with cream and stracciatella (torn strings of mozzarella). It's this creamy delicious center that is the difference between burrata and mozzarella. Mozzarella has a firmer more elastic texture all the way through. This makes mozzarella perfect for slicing.
Burrata's creamy inside means it's a bit trickier to slice, and is better served whole, or torn into pieces. This allows the creamy inside to run and blend with other ingredients on your plate.
HOW TO SERVE BURRATA
Burrata is best when served straight out of the container, on a plate with tomatoes or peaches, or torn over fresh pasta, or served up on some toasted baguette with a drizzle of olive oil. It is also completely amazing on pizza!
Summer is the perfect time to serve burrata and you can easily find it in the cheese section of your grocery store.
Below is one of my "go to" recipes I make all summer long. It's super easy, crazy delicious and can be made ahead of time. If, like me, you love a pic of what the dish looks like, it's the very first pic in this blog post!
I'm so excited you're cooking one of my recipes, so don't leave me hanging -- tag your pics #amenuforyou so I can see what's cookin' in your kitchen!
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Hungry for more info on how you can get started menu planning? Read this blog post.
- 2 yellow peaches, halved, pits removed
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 12 - 15 slices of prosciutto
- 2 balls of burrata cheese
- Your favorite salad mix (I love using arugula, but spring mix or butter lettuce would also work well)
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Salt and Pepper
Heat a grill pan on the stove. Brush each peach half with melted butter, place face down on grill pan. You want a nice char which should take about 3-5 minutes. If you're grilling outside, you can also do this on a charcoal or gas grill. Lay the peach halves face down, directly on the grill. Keep watch because charcoal is much hotter, so the peaches may only take 2-4 minutes. The char adds a lovely flavor, and also softens the peaches a bit.
Set peaches aside to cool a bit.
When peaches are cooled enough to handle, cut them into slices.
Lay out 6 plates.
Arrange a small handful of arugula on each plate.
Lay a few peach slices on each plate, along with 2-3 slices of prosciutto.
In a small bowl, tear the balls of burrata into pieces. The cream will run out and that's ok!
Spoon a bit of the cheese (don't forget the creamy center, too!) over each plate.
Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over each plate. I usually just eyeball this, but it's about 2 tablespoons olive oil to 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Taste and adjust depending on how much dressing you like.
Add a generous pinch of Maldon salt, a few twists of freshly ground pepper, and a few hazelnuts.
IF SERVING LATER:
Grill the peaches earlier in the day and keep at room temperature until ready to serve.
Toast the hazelnuts the day before. Store at room temperature.