I miss my vegetable garden. I miss my herb garden. I miss the taste of a ripened tomato. We all can agree; it’s been a long winter. Now that the clocks have changed and we’ve reached 40 degrees, spring is in the air, and summer is not too far behind. It’s still a bit of a wait, however, for those juicy tomatoes and overflowing pots of fresh basil. So if you’re craving fresh mozzarella with tomatoes and basil, here is a fantastic winter and spring alternative.
Every time I have company during winter, I start off with this salad. It is so flavorful, bright, and unbelievably easy to make. I get rave reviews every time, and it looks gorgeous on a plate. You need only a handful of ingredients: plum tomatoes, fresh rosemary, garlic, olive oil, baby arugula, burrata, balsamic vinegar, fresh ground pepper and Maldon sea salt.
If you haven’t had burrata yet, I suggest you do. It is one of my favorite things to eat ever! Burrata is described as: “A fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture.”
I buy mine in Mr. Sausage in Huntington Village, who sells containers of four. Many supermarkets and specialty stores now carry burrata, too. I then get a container of baby arugula, and four plum tomatoes. Don’t panic if they’re not ripe. They don’t need to be for this recipe, since you are going to roast them. Simply cut in half, so each person will have two halves. Sprinkle with chopped garlic, minced fresh rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil and roast for one hour. Your kitchen will smell divine! To plate, mound the arugula in the center and carefully lean a burrata against the arugula. Place a roasted tomato, standing up, on each side of the burrata. Finish with a really good olive oil and balsamic. I use The Crushed Olive’s Tuscan Herb olive oil and their 18-year-old aged balsamic vinegar. It’s a wonderful combination. A grind of fresh pepper and a sprinkle of Maldon salt completes the dish.
I can guarantee this new twist on a classic summer salad with satisfy your cravings until the warm and sunny days are upon us.
Roasted Tomato, Arugula and Burrata Salad
4 plum tomatoes
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
Extra-virgin olive oil
Container baby arugula
Container of four burrata
Aged balsamic vinegar
Fresh ground pepper
Maldon Sea Salt flakes
Preheat oven to 350°. Slice each tomato in half horizontally and place cut-side up on a baking sheet. Finely chop garlic and rosemary and sprinkle over each tomato. Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes, and finish with freshly ground pepper. Bake in the center of oven for one hour. When the tomatoes are cooked, remove from the oven and prepare your plates. Mound each plate with a generous portion of baby arugula. Carefully dry each burrata in paper towel, and place toward the center of the plate, leaning up against the arugula mound. Place a half tomato standing up on either side of the burrata. Drizzle the salad and mozzarella with a good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Finish with a grind of fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of Maldon Sea Salt flakes.