Guys, I started graduate school. Things have been busy. It still feels a bit surreal, that in less than 5 years I'm on track to be Dr. Buckley. I still don't feel like I'll ever be smart enough to live up to the title, and try to hold off thinking about it because there is a lot of work to be done between now and then. Nevertheless it's all super exciting. I get to read like 300 pages a night, most of which is actually super interesting, and all of which I'll actually integrate and use in the profession.
Though it's barely a recipe, this is the first that I've made in the new apartment. Finding my way around the new kitchen has been a bit awkward. The day after we moved in I had my first bout with my new electric range. You see, I've been anxious about having to switch to electric since we signed the lease. Everyone told me how finicky it is, how it takes forever to heat up and provides limited control for temperature. Cast iron also takes forever to heat up, so when I turned on the stove for the very first time to make crispy fried eggs in my cast iron I took everyone's advice and turned it all the way up to high. The pan smoked, as it usually does, the fire alarm went off. No biggie. Setting the fire alarm off while cooking is something most apartment dwelling cooks are used to. But then it kept going off. Until I heard fire trucks, and sirens which eventually lead to a knock on my door by three fire men and the doorman completely dressed in fireman garb, gas masks, oxygen tanks and all. It was one of the most mortifying moments of my life. Needless to say, I steered clear of the stove for a solid week after the incident and our smoke detector is now fitted with a perfectly sized piece of aluminum foil we put up every time we cook.
We've made this salad now a handful of times. It's simple and perfect for savoring those last juicy peaches of the season. One of my favorite things about Chicago is the Farmer's Markets. There's one within biking distance of our apartment almost 7 days a week. I'm in heaven pretending winter is never going to come!
Grilled Peach + Burrata Salad
Serves 2-4 as an appetizer
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 big handfuls arugula
~1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon pine nuts
4 oz burrata*
freshly ground salt + pepper to taste
Heat the balsamic over medium heat until just barely simmering. Stir occasionally until the mixture thickens to the consistency of syrup and reduces by two thirds. It will take around 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Quarter the peaches then cook over the grill just until grill marks appear. Flip the peaches, cooking both sides.
Toss arugula with olive oil and a generous amount of freshly ground salt and pepper. Top with pine nuts, peaches, and burrata then drizzle with balsamic and serve. Option to serve with a toasted baguette or a slice of toasted sourdough.
*If you can find an authentic italian deli, that would be your best bet for finding great burrata. Otherwise I usually get mine from Trader Joes. If you can't find burrata, high quality mozzarella stored in liquid could work.