Burrata Plea: Consider Fall. And Winter. And Finter.
As the weather grows colder in the rest of the country (the San Francisco bay area just seems to be getting hotter, let's leave us out of this), I've been reminded of one burrata thing. Burrata is not seasonal. Believe it or not, my summer caprese salad lovers, people make burrata in the fall. Even the winter. Sometimes even in that period between the two, known as finter.
This post is a plea to keep the burrata love going.
Burrata, a fresh cheese from Southern Italy, is mozzarella on another level. It is a freshly stuffed sheet of mozzarella wrapped around mozzarella curds mixed with cream. Yes, cream. It is a great big fun ball of delicious creaminess. It is nearly impossible not to like. Most who do not like burrata also do not like puppies or kittens, even if they don't have to take care of them.
Over the summer I've had some great burratas around town- this is the time that chefs seem to serve it. Burrata loves tomatoes. Tomatoes love burratas. But a good burrata also likes other foods not in the nightshade family.
Three of my favorite burratas (all local- burrata is so fresh that it can go bad within days, so I get it as near home as I can) complete this post. But first, here are a few suggestions on how to keep the burrata love going past the summer season. Because it deserves it. Don't pull away.
In general, I'm okay with putting almost anything delicious with burrata as an appetizer. But always keep this cheese itself simple. If you doll up some veggies to go with it, spice the veggies, not the cheese. Just drizzle the burrata with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. It is easily overwhelmed. This goes for all pairing suggestions below.
Figs- Either use fresh figs or reconsitute dried figs in wine poaching liquid (see picture above).
Roasted root vegetables- Serve burrata over a bed of warm roasted butternut sqaush and carrots cooked with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and thyme.
Bruschetta- Spoon over grilled or toasted bread rubbed with olive oil and a garlic clove.
Persimmons- Top a persimmon-frisée salad dressed in a tarragon and lemon vinaigrette with this cheese. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds for crunch.
Garbanzo beans- Top chick peas dressed with rosemary, time and garlic with oil-cured black olives and burrata.
Three of my faves:
Gioia: The first local one I tried, from San Diego. A thin mozzarella sheet wraps the curds in tight. Comes in a one pound tub. Yes, you can eat all of it.
Maplebrook: Pictured above, from Vermont. This one has a thicker mozz shell than the Gioia and a slightly looser curd, and is just as delicious. Comes packed in water.
Di Stefano It also oozes in the right places. From southern California
How do you like serving your burrata? Any locals that you love?