Genève’s Kitchen

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You Say Burrato, I say Burrata!

May 1st, 2006 · 8 Comments

burrata.jpgLast Friday I went to my little local Italian Deli and Market with our friend, Ana, who was staying the weekend. We went in to buy some of their delicious Italian bread which they make fresh every 30 minutes. As I was telling Ana how delicious the bread is the guy who works there came up to us and asked if we were looking for burrata. “Burrata?” We looked at him with puzzled expressions. Apparently the Times had run an article about this little Deli and mentioned the delicious fresh bread and burrata cheese they carried so he assumed we were among the many people who had seen the article and come looking for these sought-after items.
Well, now we were intrigued. Burrata, he told us, is a cow’s milk cheese akin to fresh mozzarella but more delicate in texture and flavor. We decided to give this burrata stuff a try.

We prepared crostini which are just slices of fresh bread or baguette in the oven at 350F until slightly toasted and crisp – I sprinkled a little olive oil on the bread prior to placing in the oven but that is optional. Then we put a little fresh basil leaf on each crostini and topped that with a slice of burrata (I use the word ‘slice’ liberally here – since the texture of the burrata is so delicate you kind of just scoop it with a knife). We sprinkled sea salt and freshly cracked pepper on top and then finished with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. The crisp texture of the crostini was the perfect compliment to the creamy soft burrata cheese. This simple appetizer embodies what I think of Italian cooking. Each of the few simple ingredients are discernable and contribute to the overall impression: sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, fresh basil, spicy extra virgin olive oil, crisp toasted bread, and of course the creamy soft burrata. This was so unbelievably easy to assemble and yet it makes a sophisticated statement in presentation and taste.

This cheese makes a fantastic appetizer whether you make these simple crostini or whether you improvise with your own ingredients. A few suggestions include making caprese crostini which would just be these toasts with basil, burrata, and fresh slices of tomato and then seasoned similarly with sea salt, cracked pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. I also tried making a sweet version where I toasted a hearty piece of multi-grain bread, added a little burrata and then drizzled honey on top. I placed a few walnut halves on top to finish – delish! Another simple combination would be balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.

A note on the burrata cheese – a little goes a long way so don’t go too top heavy with the cheese on the crostini. This bodes well if you’re planning on serving these crostini for a cocktail party as you’ll be able to make a lot! Also, the guy at the store said that burrata doesn’t have a long shelf-life so it will spoil quickly – thus plan on buying it when you’ll use it. And lastly, if you can’t find burrata, a soft fresh mozzarella will work and be delicious too.

Another note I want to make as a testament to how yummy these appetizers are is that I was able to sample them on my dear friend Grace and her lovely sister Caroline to rave reviews (and they tell it like it is).

Burrata Crostini with Fresh Basil

(Here are the ingredients you’ll need, see above for instruction)

Fresh baguette, sliced
Burrata cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh basil leaves
Sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Tags: Appetizers · Entertaining · Party Food

8 responses so far ↓

  • Ana // May 2, 2006 at 7:16 am

    Gotta love the Burrata…simple and delicious!

  • Shae // May 2, 2006 at 8:12 pm

    I made your chili this weekend – fabulous!!! :) Loved it. :) Thanks Geneve…

    I think I know this “little deli” you speak of… I’m jealous you live so close – it’s a great spot!

    You’ve inspired me to cook more… I’m going to make these soon. :)

  • M. Stewart // May 3, 2006 at 6:04 am

    Question: What’s the difference between burrata and buffalo mozzarella?? and… what are other cheeses that could be substituted for crostini?

  • Ivonne // May 4, 2006 at 6:48 am

    Hi Geneve,

    First of all what a gorgeous photo. It’s 9:47 a.m. and I could go for one of those crostini right about now!

    I’ve heard of burrata but never had the opportunity to try it. I’m hoping to be able to find it at one of the cheese purveyors I go to here in Toronto.

    Your crostini recipe is delicious. Just more proof that the simplest foods are usually the best.

    Well done!

  • Caroline // May 6, 2006 at 3:26 pm

    These were absolutely delicious. (If you recall, I stole the last one off the plate!)

  • anneke mayan // May 9, 2006 at 7:21 pm

    Just read your blog…Had to try the crostini burrata thing. Loved it. Cannot wait till you cam make it for me….

  • Rose Shapiro // May 31, 2006 at 9:24 am

    Hey Geneve
    I love your blog. Ana has been talking about it since she came home from LA. I’ve just started going through some of the recipes but have not tried any yet. The thing that I am so impressed with is that you use local ingredient that are fresh and seasonal.
    I just spent 3 weeks with my friend in Italy and the secret to fabulous Italian cooking is the use of fresh regional products and simple ingredients. Keep It Simple, and keep up the good work.

    Rose Shapiro

  • Anonymous // Jul 11, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    Great blog – I’ve found Cantare Foods in San Diego CA that produces the best domestic-made Burrata I’ve encountered. I love it with figs, pistachios and proscuitto or simply torn as a decadent pizza topping. Thanks for the blog!