Crispy Prosciutto and Creamy Burrata Pizza with Fennel Oil

Crispy Prosciutto and Creamy Burrata Pizza with Fennel Oil
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About This Recipe

Ah, the Napa Valley! A treasure trove of viniculture, this Californian gem has much more to offer than just wine. From its sprawling vineyards to the unique culinary delights, Napa is the embodiment of a connoisseur’s paradise. And speaking of culinary wonders, allow me to share one that perfectly captures the essence of wine country: the Crispy Prosciutto and Creamy Burrata Pizza with Fennel Oil. This dish, a delightful fusion of flavors, reminds me of the rolling vineyards and bountiful produce that make Napa and its neighboring Sonoma the food and wine heart of California.

The journey of this pizza begins with its main characters: prosciutto and burrata. Prosciutto, with its savory and slightly salty demeanor, pairs brilliantly with the rich, velvety allure of burrata. But the magic doesn't stop there. Introduce fennel oil, and the dish transforms. The aromatic fennel, a beloved ingredient often found in California’s farmers' markets, adds a nuanced dimension that ties the dish together.

As a Napa home chef, local guide, and avid home cook, I've always emphasized the importance of wine and food pairing. And with this dish, the options are endless. A "safe" bet would be a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. The vibrant acidity and citrus notes of a classic Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, such as the one from Frog's Leap, brilliantly contrast the creaminess of the burrata, making each bite even more refreshing.

For those who prefer a "classic" pairing, a lightly oaked Chardonnay is the way to go. The beautiful amalgamation of flavors in a Chardonnay from Sonoma-Cutrer complements the richness of both the prosciutto and burrata, creating a harmonious dance of flavors on the palate. And if you're feeling a tad adventurous, veer off the beaten path with a Vermentino. Its bright citrus and floral notes provide a zesty contrast to the savory flavors of the pizza. Though not strictly from Napa or Sonoma, Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles offers a splendid Vermentino that's worth the detour.

So, how did this Crispy Prosciutto and Creamy Burrata Pizza with Fennel Oil come to be a staple in the Napa menu? As with many dishes from this region, it is a celebration of local produce, a nod to the farming communities, and a testament to the innovative spirit of Napa’s chefs and home cooks. This pizza, with its luxurious toppings and tantalizing aroma, is a direct reflection of the valley's culinary heritage.

Now, while the pizza is a star in its own right, its versatility allows it to be a part of a more extensive menu. Picture starting your meal with a light salad featuring fresh, crisp greens from Sonoma farms, drizzled with olive oil from Olive Press, followed by our star pizza. Finish off with a dessert of panna cotta flavored with late harvest Riesling. And of course, each course paired with the finest wines Napa and Sonoma have to offer.

For those visiting or interested in Napa, make sure to add local farmer markets to your itinerary. The Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa, for instance, is a culinary haven. It’s where you can source many of the fresh ingredients used in this pizza recipe. And while you’re at it, why not make a day of it? Tour the sprawling vineyards, sample some world-class wines, and perhaps even take a cooking class or two to immerse yourself in the authentic Napa culinary experience.

In essence, this Crispy Prosciutto and Creamy Burrata Pizza with Fennel Oil isn’t just a dish; it's a journey—a journey through the flavors, aromas, and spirit of the Napa Valley. Whether you're dining al fresco overlooking the vineyards or sharing a meal with loved ones back home, this pizza brings a slice of wine country to your table. So, the next time you're in the mood for a gourmet experience that speaks to the heart and soul of Northern California, you know which recipe to turn to. Cheers to good food, excellent wine, and the timeless charm of Napa and Sonoma!

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Burrata

Burrata is not just any cheese; it’s a culinary wonder! Hailing from the Apulia region of Italy, this creamy delight is a perfect amalgamation of mozzarella and cream. At first glance, it may appear to be just a simple ball of mozzarella. But slice into it, and a rich, buttery interior bursts forth. Burrata’s luscious texture and mild taste make it a versatile choice for various dishes, and its presence in the Crispy Prosciutto and Creamy Burrata Pizza only amplifies the gastronomic pleasure. With its origins rooted in traditional Italian cheesemaking, burrata embodies authenticity and gourmet luxury in every bite.

How to Perfectly Crisp Your Prosciutto

Crisping prosciutto is a game-changer. This technique adds depth to its flavor and a delightful texture that contrasts beautifully with creamy burrata. Here's how to ace it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Lay out prosciutto slices in a single layer, ensuring they don’t overlap.
  4. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, keeping a keen eye after the 8-minute mark. The prosciutto will crisp up further as it cools.
  5. Cool on the baking sheet before adding to your pizza or other dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I substitute another cheese for burrata? Absolutely! While burrata is unique in texture and taste, you can use fresh mozzarella or ricotta as alternatives. However, remember that the creaminess factor may vary.
  2. Is there a gluten-free option for the pizza crust? Yes, there are various gluten-free pizza crusts available in the market. You can also make one at home using almond flour or cauliflower as a base.
  3. How should I store leftover pizza? Store leftover pizza in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or a skillet for best results.
  4. I have a nut allergy. Is there any ingredient I should be aware of? The main recipe doesn’t contain nuts. However, always check the ingredients of store-bought pizza crusts or other additions for potential allergens.
  5. Do I need any special tools to make this pizza? While a pizza stone and pizza cutter are handy, they aren’t essential. A regular baking sheet and a sharp knife will work just fine.

Tips for Success

  1. High-quality ingredients matter: When dealing with a recipe with minimal ingredients like this one, the quality of each ingredient shines through. Opt for high-quality, fresh burrata and prosciutto. Remember, Napa Valley and nearby regions like Sonoma are brimming with fresh, local produce and gourmet shops like Oxbow Public Market.
  2. Watch the crust: Depending on the thickness and type of pizza crust you use, baking times can vary. Always keep an eye on the crust to ensure it doesn't burn.
  3. Serving temperature: This pizza is best served immediately, while the contrast between the warm crust and cool, creamy burrata is most pronounced. If paired with wine, make sure your choice, whether it's Sauvignon Blanc or Vermentino, is chilled to perfection.

Recipe Overview

Recipe:
Crispy Prosciutto and Creamy Burrata Pizza with Fennel Oil
Author:
Lily Anderson
Season:
Spring
Yield:
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
450
Prep Time:
PT20M
Cook Time:
PT12M
Total Time:
PT32M

Ingredients List

Ingredients:

  • 1 ready-made pizza dough (about 14 inches in diameter, or you can make your own)
  • 4 thin slices of prosciutto
  • 1 large ball of burrata cheese, torn into pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped, fronds reserved
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • A handful of fresh arugula, for garnish

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Fennel Oil Preparation: In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over low-medium heat. Add the chopped fennel, fennel seeds, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using). Let it simmer gently for about 10 minutes until the fennel is soft. Strain the oil and set aside, discarding the solids.
  2. Preheat your oven as per the pizza dough instructions, generally at 475°F (245°C).
  3. Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface to your desired thickness. Place it on a parchment-lined pizza stone or baking sheet.
  4. Lightly brush the surface of the dough with some of the fennel oil.
  5. Arrange the prosciutto slices evenly on the pizza dough.
  6. Drop torn pieces of burrata onto the pizza.
  7. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  8. Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden and the prosciutto is crispy.
  9. Remove from the oven and drizzle with additional fennel oil. Garnish with fresh arugula and reserved fennel fronds.
  10. Slice and serve immediately.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

Get ready to experience the rich flavors and unique culinary delights that embody the essence of wine country living. Happy cooking!

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