Friday, September 5, 2008

Burrata and heirloom tomato salad

Last weekend, we headed into San Francisco to check out the Slow Food Nation event. We went to the Slow Food marketplace. Then had lunch at Postrio. Later in the day, we picked up dessert at Beard Papa. But the best thing I ate all day? In fact, the best thing I've eaten in recent memory? Was this heirloom tomato and burrata salad from the Sunday Suppers at Lucques cookbook. I am a burrata fan, but it's ridiculously expensive and has a very short shelf life. I've seen it around at various specialty markets, but I never really felt like shelling out the money for it, and I was concerned that it may not be all that fresh.

Most of my burrata experiences have been in Los Angeles restaurants, specifically
Pizzeria Mozza and Lucques. Burrata is more prevalent on restaurant menus down south because they have a local supplier. In fact, both Nancy Silverton and Suzanne Goin mention the supplier by name in their cookbooks (Gioia). So when I walked into Bristol Farms in San Francisco and found burrata, made by Gioia, at a price that was substantially less than what I'd seen in the past, I decided to give it a try. It was worth every penny.

This salad is actually pretty simple - fresh tomatoes (from my garden) are tossed in a balsamic, shallot and oregano vinaigrette with sliced shallots. The tomatoes are topped with olive oil croutons and plenty of sliced burrata.

I made this salad a few weeks back with fresh mozzarella instead of burrata. The mozzarella version didn't even hold a candle to this rendition. Fresh, ripe tomatoes are critical to this dish.

So what happened to the rest of the burrata? I used it in another recipe from Sunday Suppers at Lucques for broccoli with burrata and pine nut breadcrumbs. The last bit of cheese went into braised leeks with burrata and mustard breadcrumbs, a recipe from Pizzeria Mozza. I can definitely say that I'll be making another trip to Bristol Farms in the not-too-distant future for more cheese!

No comments: