Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata, Basil, and Olive Oil

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata, Basil, and Olive Oil
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About This Recipe

Welcome to the culinary delights of Napa Valley! I'm Lily, and if you're in the mood for an exquisite burrata salad, you've landed in the right place. Today, I’m going to walk you through one of my favorite burrata recipes that captures the essence of summer: the Tomato and Basil Salad, featuring the star ingredient - burrata cheese.

Ah, the tomato burrata salad! One balmy summer evening, while enjoying the open air at a local Napa Valley winery, I was struck by the incredible combination of juicy heirloom tomatoes paired with the creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture of burrata cheese. The fusion of these flavors, set against the backdrop of a golden sunset, was nothing short of magical. I knew right then that I had to curate this recipe and share this burrata cheese salad experience with fellow food lovers.

For those unfamiliar, burrata cheese is a delicate pouch of soft mozzarella filled with creamy curds. Its luxurious texture and rich taste make it a darling in many dishes, especially in salads. And when you combine it with heirloom tomatoes and fragrant basil, you get a salad that's both visually stunning and gastronomically satisfying.

If you’re planning to make this dish, here's a pro-tip: this tomato and basil salad truly shines as a light main course, especially on warm days. However, it also pairs elegantly with grilled fish or chicken. And if you're looking to end your meal on a sweet note, a luscious panna cotta topped with seasonal fruits like strawberries or peaches complements this dish and goes wonderfully with a glass of Napa Valley Moscato.

To ensure that your tomato burrata salad is top-notch, I recommend sourcing your ingredients from local spots. Napa Valley boasts charming farmers' markets like the Napa Farmers' Market and the Calistoga Farmers' Market, where you can find the freshest heirloom tomatoes, burrata, and basil.

And for the wine aficionados, a burrata recipe like this deserves the perfect wine pairing. A crisp Napa Valley Vermentino or a vibrant Grenache Rosé is sure to elevate the flavors of the salad. For the best selections, consider visiting local wineries such as Luna Vineyards or Tablas Creek Vineyard.

Lastly, to encapsulate the spirit of Napa Valley in your salad, a drizzle of premium olive oil is a must. Opt for olive oils from renowned local producers.

In essence, the Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata Cheese, Basil, and Olive Oil is not just a dish but an experience. It's a taste of Napa Valley’s farm-fresh produce, its vibrant culture, and its rich heritage. Dive in, savor each bite, and immerse yourself in the world-class flavors of Napa Valley. Cheers to good food and delightful memories!

The Magic of Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes stand at the center of this delightful salad, showcasing the very essence of summer in Napa Valley. These tomatoes, unlike their conventional counterparts, are cherished for their unique shapes, diverse colors, and extraordinarily rich flavors. They're the result of generations of cultivation, passing down the best seeds to produce tomatoes that truly embody the terroir of the region they're grown in.

Each heirloom tomato variety tells a story of tradition and legacy. With a more robust and complex taste profile, they lend a depth of flavor to the salad that's unparalleled. When you bite into an heirloom tomato, you're experiencing a piece of history, a blend of sunshine, rich soil, and dedicated cultivation.

How to Perfectly Slice Your Heirloom Tomatoes

  1. Choose the Right Knife: Always use a sharp serrated knife. The serrated edge will allow for a cleaner cut without squishing the delicate tomato.
  2. Wash & Dry: Gently rinse your heirloom tomatoes under cool water. Pat them dry with a paper towel to ensure a good grip.
  3. Remove the Stem: Slice off the small stem area from the top of the tomato.
  4. Slice Downward: Holding the tomato steady, make gentle downward slices to create even rounds.

FAQs about the Heirloom Tomato Salad

  1. Can I substitute another cheese for burrata? Absolutely! While burrata offers a creamy contrast, you can also use fresh mozzarella or even goat cheese.
  2. How do I store leftover salad? Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. However, for best taste, consume it the same day.
  3. I'm allergic to dairy. What can I replace burrata with? For a dairy-free alternative, consider using a vegan cheese or avocado slices for a creamy texture.
  4. What if I can't find heirloom tomatoes? While heirloom tomatoes offer a unique flavor, you can use any fresh, ripe tomatoes available to you. Cherry or vine-ripened tomatoes are excellent substitutes.
  5. Do I need a special kind of olive oil? Use a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil for the best taste. Local Napa Valley olive oils are ideal, but any premium oil will enhance the salad's flavor.

Ensuring a Perfect Heirloom Tomato Salad Every Time

  1. Use Fresh Ingredients: Always opt for the freshest heirloom tomatoes, basil, and burrata cheese you can find. Fresh ingredients will ensure the most vibrant and flavorful salad.
  2. Season Just Before Serving: Wait until just before serving to season the salad with salt, pepper, and olive oil. This will prevent the tomatoes from becoming soggy.
  3. Pairing Wine: Remember, the salad pairs wonderfully with a Napa Valley Vermentino or Grenache Rosé. The bright acidity of these wines complements the fresh ingredients of the salad, elevating the overall dining experience.

Embrace the charm of Napa Valley with every bite of the Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata, Basil, and Olive Oil. Whether you're dining under the warm Napa sun or bringing a touch of wine country to your home, this dish encapsulates the spirit and flavors of a region cherished by many. Happy eating!

Recipe Overview

Recipe:
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata, Basil, and Olive Oil
Author:
Lily Anderson
Season:
Summer
Yield:
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
263
Prep Time:
PT15M
Cook Time:
PT15M
Total Time:
PT15M

Ingredients List

Ingredients:

  • 4 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 balls of burrata cheese, drained and halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Balsamic glaze (optional)

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Arrange the sliced heirloom tomatoes on a large serving platter or individual plates.
  2. Place a half ball of burrata cheese on each plate, nestling it among the tomato slices.
  3. Scatter the torn or chopped basil leaves over the tomatoes and burrata cheese.
  4. Drizzle the extra-virgin olive oil generously over the salad, allowing it to pool around the tomatoes and cheese.
  5. Season the salad with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  6. If desired, drizzle a small amount of balsamic glaze over the salad for added depth and sweetness.
  7. Serve this stunning Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata Cheese, Basil, and Olive Oil with a glass of crisp and refreshing Napa Valley Vermentino. The bright acidity and subtle fruit notes of the wine perfectly complement the fresh, sun-kissed flavors of this delightful salad, creating a dining experience that truly captures the essence of our beautiful wine country.

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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