I first tried Burrata in London, at a little local family run Italian restaurant where the owner very animatedly told me I must have it, they fly it in once a month from Italy and it had arrived that morning. It is not on their menu because they only serve it fresh, so when it arrives..you want to be there! It was amazing, and was served with freshly grilled vegetables to scoop up the cheese….mmmmm!
Burrata is a mozzarella ball that has both mozzarella and cream in the centre. The outside layer of mozzarella acts like a skin but when you cut it open it runs out softly and it is subtle in flavor. This cheese is best eaten very fresh (the Italians think it is ruined 48 hours after it is made) so see if you can find a good source for it.
Ours was served with Roasted Red Peppers and Grilled Baby Aubergines, drizzled with my best olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. It looks wonderful served on a wooden board with a sharp knife to cut it open and then vegetables/crusty breads laid around it to smear the cheese on.
- 6-10 Peppers/Capsicum of any colour
Heat the grill to 200 degrees celcius. Wash and pat dry the peppers and lay them on a hot baking tray. You can smear a little olive oil on the tray first if you wish. Grill and turn occasionally until the peppers are soft and partly blackened on the outside all the way around. This usually takes 10-20 minutes.
Remove the peppers and put them all in a plastic bag. Let them cool down here completely. When the peppers are cooled, take them out of the bag and you will be able to easily peel off the layer of skin from each one. Slice them open and discard the seeds and the stem. Cut in to quarters (or smaller) and place in a tupperware. Drizzle over with a little olive oil and seal and refrigerate. (Of course serving them fresh is wonderful, but for the sake of a party, these can be made much early in the day, and they last beautifully in the fridge for up to a week).
Grilled Baby Aubergine
- 6-10 baby aubergine/eggplant
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Heat the grill to 200 degrees celcius. Slice each baby eggplant in half length ways. Spray a little olive oil on the base of a hot baking tray. Lay out the eggplants face (centre) down to grill the skins first. Grill until changing colour, usually about 4 minutes. Turn the eggplant over and lightly brush the top with a little more olive oil, and salt and pepper. Grill until gently cooked and colored on the top. Cool on a plate and when ready, serve with the roasted peppers and the burrata ball in the centre.
Italian deli’s will either have burrata or will be able to tell you where to get it. The grilled vegetables are delicious sliced up cold in salads the next day or two, or chopped and added to omelets, so don’t be afraid to make more than you need!