Do you know what Burrata is?
It’s OK if you don’t. I only just found out about it a couple years ago. But seriously… BEST. THING. EVER. If you like fresh mozzarella (who doesn’t?), you will LOVE burrata. It’s a ball of fresh mozzarella filled with a mixture of fresh mozzarella and fresh cream. Yup, you heard that right. It’s the creamiest, most delicious cheese you will EVER taste. (Well, at least one of them- there are just too many delicious cheeses in the world to narrow it down to the “most” delicious, if you ask me.)
The only time we’ve had it is at fancy Italian restaurants as a special treat; as an appetizer, the dish can cost between $10-15 (not cheap). So when I found burrata at Trader Joe’s for only $4.99 for 8oz. (!!!), I was sold (as was the burrata). Two roasted tomatoes and some fresh basil later, we had ourselves a delicious, restaurant-quality dish for only about $4 total!
As a food lover, being on a budget can be difficult. So, Zach and I will frequently have “fancy” homemade dinners if we have some extra time and if we can’t squeeze going out to eat into our budget for the month. If you are looking for a quick and easy Caprese salad recipe, try my spicy Caprese salad. If you have a little extra time and are craving a little extra fancy, try roasting the tomatoes and making easy garlic toasts to go along with it (with burrata or with other fresh mozzarella).
I roasted the tomatoes just like I roast any other vegetable- with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I threw in a little Italian seasoning as well (basil, oregano, and thyme) and cooked them under my broiler on a baking sheet for a little while instead of in an oven (to cut down on time and to keep my kitchen a bit cooler in my non-air conditioned apartment). Roasting tomatoes brings out a deeper, richer flavor and cuts down on acidity, and makes them soft and spreadable.
To make the garlic toasts, drizzle a little olive oil on some good bread and place under the broiler oil-side up after the tomatoes are done. After a couple of minutes or when they are toasted sufficiently, remove from the oven and cut a garlic clove in half. Rub the cut side of the garlic on the toasted bread. Done! This is an easy technique to make quick toasts to have with bruschetta, avocado salsa, or as a side to your favorite soup (I made them with split pea soup and it was scrumptious!).
To serve, arrange burrata on a platter and roasted tomatoes next to it. Sprinkle the whole thing with roughly chopped basil and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. This is an awesome appetizer to make for a party.
Best part? I only used half of the burrata, so I have a whole other one just waiting for me in the fridge right now! I forsee this happening again later this week. Or maybe in a couple hours. Yum times a million!