Peach & Burrata Salad with Aged Balsamic & Basil Oil

Peach & Burrata Salad with Aged Balsamic & Basil Oil
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About This Recipe

Nestled between the rolling vineyards and flourishing orchards of Napa Valley lies the essence of California's wine country cuisine. The culinary tradition here thrives on the harmonious relationship between the local terroir and the creations it inspires. One such creation, the Peach & Burrata Salad with Aged Balsamic & Basil Oil, epitomizes the dance of fresh, seasonal ingredients with the timeless charm of the valley. This peach burrata salad is not just a dish; it's a narrative of the land, a palette of colors and flavors that echo the richness of the region.

The inception of this delightful dish traces back to the abundant summer harvests in Napa. The peaches, sun-kissed and tender, lend a sweet, velvety layer to the salad, embodying the essence of a Californian summer. Contrasted with the creamy, delicate burrata cheese, each bite melds the lush orchards with the rustic dairy farms dotting the picturesque landscape.

Draped over with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar, the salad takes a bow to the timeless vineyards, the heart and soul of Napa. The balsamic, with its deep, complex acidity, resonates with the old, whispering vines that have seen the passage of seasons. A flourish of basil oil, fresh and aromatic, ties the ensemble with a hint of herbaceous allure, much like the gentle breeze that wafts through the vine leaves.

Now, no dish in wine country stands alone; the magic unfolds when paired with the perfect wine. A burrata salad recipe like this begs for a companion that complements its soft textures and vibrant flavors. A lightly oaked Chardonnay from Rombauer Vineyards can walk hand in hand with the creaminess of burrata and the sweetness of peaches, while a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from Duckhorn Vineyards can cut through with its citrus notes, offering a refreshing counter. For the adventurous palate, a dry Rosé from Cline Cellars in Sonoma can tease out the subtle char of the grilled peach in the salad, making each bite a journey of discovery.

The grilled peach and burrata salad is not just a solitary delight but a communal experience. As a precursor to a hearty entrée of grilled lamb or a delicate risotto, it sets a whimsical, light tone. When laid out in a spread of salad recipes among a garden of other summer fare, like a crisp bruschetta or a vibrant tomato gazpacho, it shines bright, a star amidst a constellation of flavors.

This summer peach salad is more than a dish; it’s a celebration. A celebration of the artisanal spirit of Napa, the communal tables, the stories shared over clinking glasses, and the tradition that binds it all. It’s a homage to the hands that tend the soil, nurture the vines, and craft the cheese. It’s an invitation to savor, to enjoy, to revel in the bounty that is Napa Valley.

When you find yourself wandering through the quaint streets of Napa or Sonoma, let your steps guide you to the local farmer's markets. Pick up a basket of fresh peaches, a ball of burrata, and a bottle of local aged balsamic. Let the simplicity of ingredients inspire you as they have inspired the culinary traditions of wine country. And as you toss together this burrata cheese salad, let the flavors transport you through the rustic lanes, the verdant vineyards, and the warm, welcoming homes of Napa Valley.

As the sun casts a golden glow over the vineyards, and the table is set under the open sky, the Peach & Burrata Salad with Aged Balsamic & Basil Oil finds its place. It’s not just a salad; it’s a tradition, an experience, a slice of wine country served fresh on a plate. And as you sip on the paired wine, may the essence of Napa fill your senses, bridging the past with the present, the local with the global, and the heart with the soul.

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Burrata Cheese

The hero ingredient in our Peach & Burrata Salad recipe is undoubtedly the Burrata Cheese. This Italian cheese is a culinary gem that elevates the dish with its creamy texture and delicate, milky flavor. Burrata is a fresh cheese made from mozzarella and cream, presenting a unique dual texture— a solid outer curd made from fresh mozzarella cheese that encases a soft, creamy center of mozzarella and cream. This cheese not only brings a luxurious mouthfeel to our burrata salad recipe but also a subtle, sweet creaminess that balances the tanginess of the aged balsamic vinegar and the sweetness of the summer peaches. Its versatility makes it a staple in many salad recipes, especially in Italian and Californian cuisines, where fresh, high-quality ingredients are celebrated.

How to Grill Peaches Perfectly for Your Burrata Salad

Grilling peaches for your peach and burrata salad is a simple yet transformative step. It caramelizes the sugars in the peaches, enhancing their sweetness and adding a smoky flavor that pairs delightfully with the creamy burrata and tangy balsamic.

  1. Choose the Right Peaches: Look for firm, ripe peaches. They should give slightly to pressure but not be too soft or they'll become mushy on the grill.
  2. Prep Your Grill: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Ensure the grates are clean and lightly oiled to prevent sticking.
  3. Prep Your Peaches: Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Lightly brush the cut sides with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  4. Grilling: Place peaches cut-side down on the grill. Grill for about 3-4 minutes or until they have nice grill marks. Avoid moving them around once they're on the grill to achieve beautiful grill marks.
  5. Serving: Allow the peaches to cool slightly before arranging on the platter with burrata. Drizzle with aged balsamic and basil oil, and garnish with fresh basil.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use a different type of cheese if I don't have burrata? Yes, fresh mozzarella or ricotta cheese can be used as substitutes for burrata, although they won't provide the same creamy texture as burrata.
  2. How should I store leftovers of peach burrata salad? It's best enjoyed fresh, but if needed, store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one day. However, the peaches may become soggy over time.
  3. Is there a vegan alternative for burrata cheese in this salad recipe? Absolutely, you can use a vegan mozzarella or a creamy nut-based cheese as a substitute.
  4. What other fruits can be used in this burrata salad recipe? Other stone fruits like nectarines, plums, or cherries would work well in this salad, offering a similar sweet and tangy flavor profile.
  5. Can I prepare the basil oil in advance? Yes, the basil oil can be made up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Tips for Success

  1. Quality Ingredients: Like many salad recipes, the quality of ingredients significantly impacts the overall taste. Source fresh, ripe peaches and high-quality burrata for the best flavor.
  2. Adjust to Taste: The beauty of this peach and burrata salad lies in its simplicity. Feel free to adjust the amount of balsamic vinegar and basil oil to suit your taste preferences.
  3. Pairing Wine: Elevate your dining experience by pairing this salad with a refreshing glass of Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc from local Napa or Sonoma wineries. The crispness of these wines complements the creamy, sweet, and tangy flavors of the salad, making each bite a journey through the essence of California wine country.

Recipe Overview

Recipe:
Peach & Burrata Salad with Aged Balsamic & Basil Oil
Author:
Lily Anderson
Season:
Summer
Yield:
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
280
Prep Time:
PT10M
Cook Time:
PT4M
Total Time:
PT14M

Ingredients List

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • 2 balls of fresh burrata cheese
  • 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Begin by preparing the basil oil. In a blender, combine the fresh basil leaves, olive oil, water, and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth, then set aside.
  2. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Brush the peach halves lightly with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  3. Place the peach halves cut-side down on the grill, and cook for about 3-4 minutes until they have nice grill marks and are slightly caramelized.
  4. Arrange the grilled peaches and burrata on a serving platter. Drizzle with the aged balsamic vinegar and basil oil.
  5. Garnish with additional fresh basil leaves, season with sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  6. Serve immediately, preferably with a crisp glass of Napa Valley white wine.

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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