Burrata With Fennel And Endive
Burrata means “buttery” in Italian and is a fresh cheese made from a mix of mozzarella and cream. The outside thin shell is a pasta filata curd made of buffalo and/or cow’s milk mozzarella while the insides contain a soft, doughy, stringy, mixture of curd and fresh cream. When you cut open a Burrata, it oozes with buttery and creamy panna containing scraps of mozzarella. The cream has a rich flavor and has to be eaten immediately since it is a fresh cheese.
Total Time 1 hour
Prep Time 15 mins
Difficulty Level Medium
1 medium fresh fennel bulb, well trimmed
3 tbsps fragrant extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsps lemon juice
Drops of honey to taste
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Two medium endives
Ripe cherry tomatoes
12 caper berries
1 16-ounce burrata
Basil oil if desired
3 cups lightly packed herbs, large stems discarded
2 cups olive or canola oil
With a mandoline or by hand with a sharp knife cut the fennel very finely. In a bowl whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt and pepper together to make a vinaigrette. Toss the fennel with as much of the vinaigrette as you like and arrange on 6 plates. Surround with 3 or 4 endive leaves, some ripe cherry tomatoes and caper berries if using.
Cut the burrata into 6 pieces and place on top of the fennel. Sprinkle on a little flaky salt and freshly ground pepper and spoon a little basil oil around if using. Serve immediately.
Make for Endive: Blanch herbs in salted boiling water until they turn a bright green (about 5 seconds). Drain and plunge immediately into ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. This blanching step inactivates the enzymes which causes the herb to turn brown and develop an oxidized flavor.
Squeeze herbs as dry as you can and add to a blender along with enough oil to cover by at least 2 inches. Puree to make a smooth paste. Strain thru a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth or alternately let sit for a few hours and then decant the oil off the solids. Oil should be a very bright green and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper and store covered in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.