According to some food bloggers, burrata is the new “put an egg on it.” Place a burrata on top of just about anything, and it instantly makes the dish a success. Ok, maybe not, but burrata is incredibly delicious and, these days, much more accessible than before.
What is it?
Burrata is a hollow ball of mozzarella filled with a mixture of cream and scraps of mozzarella cheese. It’s a way for mozzarella makers to use up strands of mozzarella that can’t be made into balls. Originally developed by Italian cheese makers, burrata has a short shelf life (ideally eaten within 24-48 hours), so historically was never shipped outside Italy. Today, however, artisinal cheesemakers around the world are creating and selling burrata.
While burrata has become more accessible geographically, it remains quite expensive. Trader Joe’s sells the cheapest version I’ve seen, but that still goes for $4.99 for 8 ounces. And though the price is certainly right for the TJ’s burrata, I’ve found that splurging at the farmer’s market for a $9 8oz burrata is well worth the extra cost.
If you are an experienced cheesemaker (or an aspiring one), you can make your own burrata. There are many recipes online. I, however, choose to purchase my burrata and then use it in a variety of ways. I’m happy to simply serve it with some well-toasted bread or sliced fresh tomatoes. Other people suggest swapping burrata in for mozzarella in just about any recipe. Burrata adds a creamier note, but is similar enough otherwise. Here are a few other ways to use burrata that helps highlight this lovely cheese.
One of the first recipes I ever made with burrata was this lentil recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Easy, delicious and filling with chopped zucchinis, it was a perfect lunch.
I love anything with roasted eggplant, and the silkiness of the eggplant mixed with the creaminess of the burrata is a match made in heaven.
If your tastes bend toward the sweeter side, consider grilling up some peaches (or probably any stone fruit), and adding some burrata for a salty balance.
Creamy, meaty, and green is the name of the game in this recipe. The heft from the salami balances nicely with the tang from the broccolini and the cream from the burrata.