Can we talk about burrata for a moment? Let me start by saying if there's a reason I could never go completely vegan, burrata is that reason. If you've never had the pleasure of tasting the stuff it can be described as giant pillows of fresh mozzarella filled with creamy, heavenly goodness. I recently discovered it when I went to Mario Batali's Pizzeria Mozza for my birthday a couple months ago and ordered his famous caprese salad. It pretty much changed my life. Talk about decadence.
This time of year burrata salads are everywhere, either that or my newfound love-affair with the stuff is only now opening my eyes to it! This time of year is also home the best tomatoes you've ever tasted. Did you know you're technically not supposed to refrigerate tomatoes? Yeah. Me either. Apparently it dramatically affects the flavor. I've been embracing this "room temperature rule" particularly when it comes to cherry tomatoes. You know those bright orange ones that you only see around late august?
We got these gems from Mcgrath Family Farm just south of Ventura, CA. If you're ever road tripping up the 101, you must stop for the best, freshest organic produce and the friendliest people. I just adore everything about this place. You can even pick your own strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and heirlooms, which just so happen to all taste like candy this time of year.
So in attempt to eat burrata, and savor these perfectly sweet cherry tomatoes I was trying to avoid refrigerating, this recipe was born. Add in some "make me feel less guilty for basically eating cheese for dinner" arugula and we're good to go! These are definitely a Friday night kind of treat, which we attempted to treat as an appetizer before something healthy like a salad but failed and ate them all until we were completely full. Oops!
Makes 6 large crostini
1 loaf ciabatta bread
4 cloves garlic, divided
extra virgin olive oil
8 oz burrata (I used Trader Joe's brand)
2 cups tightly packed arugula
1 pint cherry tomatoes
fresh ground sea salt + pepper, to taste
Soak bamboo skewers in cold water for at least 15 minutes. Preheat your oven (or toaster oven) to 450 degrees and your grill (pan) to medium heat. Slide tomatoes on skewers and marinate in olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and salt + pepper. Grill tomatoes until softened and slightly charred. Meanwhile, slice bread into six 3/4 inch thick slices, then rub slices with remaining garlic cloves and drizzle both sides olive oil. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Divide the burrata amongst the crostini, top with arugula, and cherry tomato skewers. Sprinkle with chunky sea salt and pepper to taste.