Garlic bread crumbs, decadent burrata cheese, and a white balsamic dressing jazz up our riff on classic Caprese salad.
Tomato and Burrata Salad with Pangrattato and Basil
SERVES 4 to 6 VEG
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. The success of this dish depends on using ripe, in-season tomatoes and fresh, high-quality burrata.
1½ pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper
3 ounces rustic Italian bread, cut into 1-inch pieces (1 cup)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, halved and sliced thin
1½ tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
½ cup chopped fresh basil
8 ounces burrata cheese, room temperature
1. Toss tomatoes with ¼ teaspoon salt and let drain in colander for 30 minutes.
2. Pulse bread in food processor into large crumbs measuring between ⅛ and ¼ inch, about 10 pulses. Combine crumbs, 2 tablespoons oil, pinch salt, and pinch pepper in 12-inch nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until crumbs are crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Clear center of skillet, add garlic, and cook, mashing it into skillet, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir garlic into crumbs. Transfer to plate and let cool slightly.
3. Whisk shallot, vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon salt together in large bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in remaining ¼ cup oil. Add tomatoes and basil and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and arrange on serving platter. Cut buratta into 1-inch pieces, collecting creamy liquid. Sprinkle burrata over tomatoes and drizzle with creamy liquid. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and serve immediately.