The first time I had burrata was just a few months ago, at this little shindig. It was served over stone fruit in a salad that inspired this one, and it blew my mind. Burrata is like a present but the present is wrapped in a present – it’s more like two cheeses in one, a thin, supple pouch of fresh mozzarella that holds soft, creamy ricotta-like curds in its hollow belly. The contrast in textures fascinated me, and since then, it’s been on my list of foods to experiment with at home.
So a week or so ago I picked up two snowy-white specimens from Murray’s Cheese to take home with me. One I cut up and tossed with penne, tomatoes, & basil for a simple but so satisfying dinner (the creamy insides melt into the best sauce!), and the other I used in this grilled peach salad, a humble take on what we had at Sensi in May. I feel like this salad embodies everything a summer salad should be — fresh and sweet, a little bit decadent, and full of vibrant yet uncomplicated flavors. Grilling the peaches lends an extra smoky sweetness to them, perfect for those few that are a little less ripe than their friends, and the bite from the arugula and the pungent balsamic glaze help balance out the richness of the peaches and
cream burrata. To top it all off I added a little bit of caramelized onions, just because caramelized onions make everything better.
Two more happy things about this salad — (1) Bowl #2 shot another video! He made me put it at the end, but it’s my favorite part about this post, so you should probably just skip right to it and admire his handiwork. (Especially because I had a case of the Clumsy Thumbs and accidentally shot half these photos in JPEG. So sad. Tip if you don’t already do this — shoot your photos in RAW format and use an editing software that handles RAW files! It’s magical. As I was just now reminded.) And (2) the fantastic folks at Lucini Italia were kind enough to send me a few of their products to try, two of which I gladly used here. The peaches were grilled in this lemon olive oil, and the glaze I made from this mindblowing fruit-infused balsamic. I thought the quality of both was exceptional — clean, nuanced, and deeply flavored. Definitely check them out if you feel so inclined.
Finally, it is unquestionably peach season (actually, did you know it’s National Peach Month?), so I just have to share a few of my favorite peachy links lately:
- This incredible peach, hazelnut, & shiso (!) crisp with vegan ginger (!!) ice cream. Is flavor art a thing? This is a flavor magnum opus.
- White peach & green tea bellinis! White peaches are my fruit soulmate. Plus, look at that freestone action. Can we talk about how it feels to cut into a peach and find out that it’s a clingstone? It makes me feel terrible, terrible things in my heart. (Normal.)
- Peaches & cream with cornflake crumbles. Cornflake crumbles! And those photos.
- And these unique smoked peaches & cream popsicles.
Hope you’re all having a gorgeous summer!
Music: Nujabes, Aruarian Dance.
- for the caramelized onions:
- 1 small red onion, sliced thin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- for the balsamic glaze:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- for the peaches:
- 2 peaches or nectarines, white or yellow, sliced in half and pits removed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- for the rest:
- 3 cups arugula (or more or less, to your preference)
- 1 ball burrata cheese
- To make the caramelized onions, heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over low heat. Spread thinly sliced red onions in a single layer in the pan and let cook slowly, stirring only occasionally, for at least 20-30 minutes. The longer you cook and the lower the heat, the better the onions will taste, but I often cook them for less time if I'm in a hurry and it's fine. When onions are brown and jammy, add the balsamic vinegar and cook a little longer. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- To make the glaze, combine balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. When mixture simmers, turn the heat down to medium-low or low and let bubble until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Let cool and set aside.
- To grill the peaches, heat a skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Brush the cut halves lightly with olive oil, then place cut-side down and let sizzle until browned or charred to your liking. For me, this took only a few minutes. Set aside.
- Finally, assemble the salad. It doesn't really matter how you do it, but I layered the arugula first, then the peaches and caramelized onions. Then I sliced the burrata into pieces and distributed it over the salad, and finished with balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.