Saturday, 8 August 2015

You Drive Me Caprese!

Pane, Burrata & Pomodori Assortiti
Bread, Burrata & Assorted Tomatoes


Everybody loves tomato and mozzarella... And what's not to love? You can't get any easier than this... But you CAN go beyond that simple "Caprese", made from (in all honesty), bland and rubbery supermarket mozzarella.

Because you can use "the real thing" - big beautiful, buffalo-milk "Burrata"- the thing that real Caprese dreams are made of!


And you can also go above and beyond by using an assortment of tomatoes... A big and meaty ox heart tomato, some sugar-sweet and delicious yellow tomatoes and tangy, slightly sour green tomatoes... And even these funky dark green and red striped heirloom tomatoes that are a bit of the best of both worlds... These, together with of course basil and a little salt, pepper and fresh thyme will make your regular Caprese seem very bland in comparison... Grin! Don't hate me for telling the truth!


All kidding aside, this is obviously something I would only do for something that is more of a special occasion than an everyday lunch or supper. Burrata will cost you at the very least 4 times the price of a regular mozzarella usually if you are outside of Italy... That's just the way it is! It IS a speciality and if it is very inexpensive when you see it... Chances are it is not the real thing!


The beauty of Burrata is revealed when you cut it open... With an almost liquid center and indeed, lots of buttery milky juices, it is a creamy and luscious delight that puts regular mozzarella to shame. The way to prepare it is to split it open, drizzle generously with olive oil and season with salt and pepper... This brings out the best of its own natural flavor without overpowering and ruining it.

Please don't do anything silly like adding balsamic vinegar to any of these things... Please!?! Let it be what it is and learn to appreciate it to the fullest! That's what Italian food is all about!


Sadly, I couldn't get any fresh oregano today, which would have been my herb of choice to go with the tomatoes... Being Sicilian and all that... And I could have used dry oregano which would also have been wonderful... But the thyme was there, it was fresh and it did the trick!

Thyme, marjoram or oregano are going to elevate the flavor of the tomatoes past that delicious but conventional, simple basil flavor. Which is fine as it is... But if you make it a little bit special... Then it will BE a little bit special! It's as simple as that!


So innocent and plain looking... But what a transformation when you cut into and especially after you season it and dres it up accordingly... Try it! You'll like it!


The way to serve it is to make sure your Burrata has dripped dry, as it has plenty of milky juices inside and to dress up your tomatoes with everything but the oil... And then to cut the mozzarella, season it and dress north with oil at the table... That way it is more fun as well! And everyone can have as much or as little olive oil as they prefer.


And yes... You DO want to get in there and to mop up the juices! Both from the mozzarella AND from the tomatoes... Trust me! You do!

Simple, elegant, delicious and just plain wonderful... Why would you cook in such a hot and humid evening when you can simply do this?!?! Enjoy!

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