What is Burrata? I can hear many asking.
Well, know that it is la crème de la crème, the best and most delicious form of mozzarella cheese you can have in a salad; it is made of the just mentioned mozzarella and cream and it comes from the Southern Italian region of Apulia (You may know it as the heel of the boot). Yes, yummy delicious cream and cheese all in one soft, tender ball of happiness!
Burrata is made of two parts:
– The shell: Mozzarella
– The center: Stracciatella (pulled mozzarella curd) and cream
What to do with burrata?
Recipes with burrata are multiple but, in my humble opinion, this cheese deserves to be eaten in all its glory: on top of a luxurious bed of colorful salad, sprinkled with a light pesto drizzle on top.
Where can I buy burrata?
Yes, easy to show images and share recipes if the goods are not available! These goods are available, not to worry! You can find burrata and burratina in many supermarkets, in the international cheeses section, or in your local Italian deli.
Now that the ‘where to buy burrata’ and ‘what is burrata’ have been answered, let’s pass to the second part of this recipe… the glorious pesto dressing!
This is not the authentic pesto recipe you’d normally use for pasta, as I wanted something lighter and smoother; the burrata cheese has already enough calories, so I decided to try to keep the pesto recipe calories a bit lower than it would normally be with nuts.
What is burrata salad?
Well, I don’t know what others do, but this burrata salad recipe focuses on the flavors of Caprese salad plus other Mediterranean flavors I love: mixed baby leaves, cherry plum tomatoes, pitted green olives, and the two main ingredients mentioned.
As a Saturday lunch treat, I also baked a couple of small baguettes which will be shared whilst still warm…
You will love this recipe because…
This pesto recipe without pine nuts can be frozen in an ice cube tray for comfort; once the cubes are frozen you can move them to a plastic container or reusable sealed bag so the tray becomes available again, and you can use each portion as needed.
I have more cheese, what to do with burrata?
This can be used on pizza, pasta, as a topping for bruschetta together with sundried tomatoes, rocket pesto, roasted peppers… recipes with burrata are numerous! Just ensure you use it quite quickly, as this cheese is extremely fresh and has a short shelf life!
I like this recipe but don’t have burrata, what to do?
Burrata cheese substitutes are not even close to the original, but I often use them as I love salad and appreciate not eating the same thing all the time; you may guess I will say mozzarella, and you are correct, but also a nice feta cheese can be used in this recipe successfully.
~~Looking for other salad recipes? What about this Roasted Peppers, Baby Leaves and Feta Salad
What are the nutritional benefits of burrata?
Yes, I am talking about benefits because we all know burrata is calorific and should be consumed in moderation, but why must we always focus on the negatives? This cheese, like many full-fat dairy products, is full of calcium, which is extremely beneficial for teeth and bone health, proteins and potassium, amongst others.
How can pesto be nut-less?
This is a pesto dressing, so I focused on the green and more liquid part of the recipe; the ingredients in this easy to make in 2 minutes pesto are basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Should you wish, to maintain the green color of pesto for longer – even after blitzing – you can add a bit of lemon juice.
I am hoping I made this recipe as clear, simple, appealing, delicious, and inviting as possible, as Apulian Burrata is no doubt one of the best foods that come from Italy (and we have many glorious ingredients down there!) so please…
… take 5 minutes for yourself and blitz this pesto dressing up!
- 125 g Burrata Cheese or Burratina
- 12 Baby Plum Tomatoes
- 12 Pitted Green Olives
- 120 g Mixed Baby Leaves
- 50 g Beetroot
- 2 Mini Baguettes 50g Each
For the Pesto Dressing:
- 15 g Fresh Basil Leaves
- ½-¾ garlic clove fresh and peeled
- 20 g Parmesan Cheese
- 30 ml Olive Oil
- Salt to taste
- Bake the Mini Baguettes as per the instructions on the package – normally this will be at about 180 degrees Fan Oven for 8-10 minutes for the par-cooked ones, but always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
- Wash the baby leaves and try to dry as much as possible; to do so, you can either use a bag of pre-washed salad leaves, a salad spinner, or lightly shake the leaves in a clean tea towel, but do not press the leaves. You will want the leaves dry so the pesto can stick to them and the water won’t dilute the flavors. Once dry, put in the chosen serving platter.
- Wash the baby plum tomatoes and cut in half and add them to the salad together with the olives and sliced beetroot; add the whole burrata to the center of the platter.
- Time to prepare the pesto dressing: In a small food processor or upside-down grinder add the well-washed leaves of basil, garlic, parmesan, and 15ml of olive oil. Blitz for 10 seconds. Open the blending container, mix well with a spoon and add the remaining olive oil, then blitz again until the desired consistency is reached. Finally taste with salt (and extra virgin olive oil if wanted).
- Drizzle the dressing all over the salad, then serve and enjoy!
If you prefer crunchy salad – like me most of the time – you can swap this with a mixed pack of crunchy leaves. The mixed leaves have different flavors, some are a bit bitter, some slightly sweeter, which make a great base for this simple dish.
You can swap green olives with black olives, as well as beef or any tomatoes really, instead of the baby plums.
If you feel like a rebel, add a pinch of crushed black pepper on top before enjoying!