Tomato and Burrata Salad with Pangrattato and Basil
Why This Recipe Works
Popular in Italy, burrata is a deluxe version of fresh mozzarella in which the supple cheese is bound around a filling of cream and soft, stringy curds. We wanted to create a Caprese-inspired salad in which this decadent cheese could star alongside summer's best tomatoes. We quickly realized that just tomatoes, basil, and good extra-virgin olive oil weren't enough to bring out the best in the cheese as they do in a Caprese salad; the richness of the burrata overwhelmed the other components. To maximize the flavor of the tomatoes, we used a combination of standard tomatoes and sweet cherry tomatoes, salting them and letting them sit for 30 minutes to help draw out their watery juices, which intensified the tomato flavor. Blending the olive oil with a little minced shallot and mild, sweet-tart white balsamic vinegar gave us a simple but bold vinaigrette. Finally, we found that a topping of Italian pangrattato (garlicky bread crumbs) helped bring the dish together, soaking up both the tomato juice and the burrata cream.