Burrata is a luscious indulgence of a cheese. The word translated to English means “buttered”. It is made by pulling a pouch of mozzarella cheese and filling it with bits of stracciatella (mozzarella curd) and cream. The flavor is milky and buttery. It should be consumed simply, featured in a recipe where the cheese can shine. It should be fresh and served at room temperature. I generally think of burrata with vine ripe tomatoes and olive oil. It is the perfect canvas and partner for good olive oil.
Meyer lemons are abundant this time of year in Northern California. If you have a friend with a tree it is like having a friend with a zucchini plant in July. You find them on your doorstep.
The Farmer’s Market now is half the size it is in July but there are beautiful displays of herbs and tender young fennel bulbs. Fennel has a long history of use as a medicinal plant in the Mediterranean and has traditionally been used to treat digestive ailments. It has been grown throughout Europe since ancient times. I am not sure who was responsible for bringing it to California but it clearly thrives here as well.
How we decide what to cook is an individual process. Appetite, time, money, and skill all factor into the decision. Market cooking is my favorite because I find serious inspiration in ingredients. So, a recent trip to the market together with a stroll through Food 52 recipes and a “foundling” on my doorstep led to this delicious salad. Here is another opportunity to use McEvoy’s Olio Nuovo while it is fresh and bright.
Fennel Salad with Burrata
- 2 medium heads fennel, cored and very thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons McEvoy Ranch Extra Virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 6 strips lemon zest, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 8 ounces burrata
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place fennel, oil, zest and lemon juice in a shallow dish; season with salt and pepper.
- Let stand 10 minutes.
- Just before serving, arrange fennel salad on a large platter. Scatter burrata, parsley and toasted fennel seeds over fennel.
- Drizzle with additional olive oil.