A thin slice of prosciutto di Parma would be a welcome addition to this dish, simply served alongside or draped over the top, hiding the jewel of a salad hidden beneath.–Chester Hastings
LC Burrata Bling Note
If you’ve stepped inside a cheese shop lately, chances are you’ve witnessed burrata–and America’s crush on it. Those of you who’ve actually had the pleasure of tasting the ridiculously rich, unthinkably creamy kin to fresh mozzarella can understand why we’re crushing. Words can’t quite describe it, you’ll just have to try it. And if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to indulge in some go-weak-in-the-knees burrata bling before we succumb to the ain’t-got-no-burrata blues.
Burrata with Asparagus Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 30 M
- Serves 4
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins or sultanas
- 8 ounces slender spring asparagus
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1/2 cup best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 saffron threads (optional)
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 2 balls (roughly 6 ounces each) burrata cheese
- 1. Soak the golden raisins or sultanas in enough warm water to cover for at least 5 minutes. Drain the plumped fruit and pat dry.
- 2. Cut the woody ends off the asparagus spears and discard. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water. Bring a pot filled with plenty of salted water to a boil. Plunge the asparagus into the boiling water and cook just until the spears are tender and barely beginning to give when pinched where the tip begins, 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears. Be careful to not overcook the asparagus. Plunge the asparagus into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the asparagus and pat thoroughly dry. Cut the asparagus on the angle into pieces roughly resembling penne pasta.
- 3. In a large, dry skillet over low heat, warm the pine nuts until lightly toasted and fragrant, shaking the pan occasionally. Transfer the pine nuts to a plate to cool.
- 4. Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, shaking the pan vigorously, until the crumbs are light golden and crisp, about 1 minute. Transfer the crisped bread crumbs to a plate to cool.
- 5. In a large bowl, combine the drained plumped fruit, the asparagus, pine nuts, saffron, if using, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- 6. Cut each burrata ball in half and place one half on each of 4 plates, cut side down. Strew the asparagus mixture on top of the burrata, sprinkle with the crisped bread crumbs, and drizzle with the remaining extra-virgin olive oil. Serve cold or at room temperature.
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Testers ChoiceTesters Choice
May 03, 2012
This is a lovely and elegant salad, the majority of which could be prepped in advance (I’d follow the recipe up ’til step four, and wait until right before serving to plate everything). It also has the added advantage of being very simple—the hardest part is to make sure to not overcook the asparagus (and not to eat all of the burrata while assembling the salad). I added a thin slice of prosciutto, as suggested in the header notes, to add a bit of salt to the dish, but it certainly is not necessary. I think this could be enhanced by a drizzle of very good balsamic vinegar. In the future, I’d also consider not slicing the asparagus, but rather keeping it whole, and sprinkling the pine nuts and raisins over before topping with the burrata.
May 03, 2012
This was a very unique recipe that I really enjoyed. I’d never cooked with or tasted burrata before, but have been curious to try it. I had a bit of a hard time finding it, but eventually happened upon it at a farmers market. The creamy cheese covered with the crunchy bread crumbs (I used panko here) was a nice texture combo, followed by the deliciously crisp bite of the asparagus. It all really worked well here. (I liked the description of how to cut the asparagus, like penne pasta; that kind of imagery really helps the cook visually while cooking!) The other interesting thing about the recipe was the use of saffron. It gave a nice taste and an overall warmth. It was interesting to me that no mention of salt ever came up in the recipe, but it really wasn’t needed with the saltiness of the cheese. Overall I really enjoyed this recipe because it was so tasty…and unique! I would love to find other recipes using burrata.
May 03, 2012
A lovely and inspired combination of ingredients, and just about the only reason I can think of to buy asparagus in the winter. It makes a great appetizer or, with a hunk of bread, a light meal. As a bonus, it’s very easy to put together and ideal for a weeknight. My only issue with the recipe is that I wanted more saffron—six threads was a bit paltry, given the quantity of the other ingredients. The saffron is what really distinguishes the dish and, along with the burrata, also pulls it together, so using a sufficient amount is important.
May 03, 2012
This dish is easy to prepare, pleasing to all different palates, and a fresh way to start a meal. The recipe is simple to follow and requires little upfront prep. The true key, though, is making sure you use high-quality ingredients. If you are going to make this, it’s worth splurging on some good olive oil and burrata cheese. If you aren’t willing to do that, then the recipe isn’t worth making.
May 03, 2012
I found the combination of ingredients in the recipe interesting, and am willing to try almost anything with cheese in it. Even though the thought of raisins and asparagus is not typical in my world, I thought I’d step outside my comfort zone and try it. I cooked the asparagus longer than recommended in the recipe, as I just don’t like undercooked vegetables. The asparagus tasted just perfect to me, and I was very pleasantly surprised with the asparagus-raisin combination, as I typically don’t like fruit with “serious” food at all. Soaking the raisins in warm water lessened the raisiny flavor, I think, and allowed their flavor to blend more easily with the other ingredients. The burrata works very well with both the asparagus and the raisins. The toasted pine nuts, which, like the cheese, work well with both sweet and savory elements, rounded out the flavors perfectly and added that little bit of crunchy interest to the dish. Although the toasting is an additional step, the pan is hot from the bread crumbs anyway, so very little additional effort is involved.
I can’t say that splurging on the saffron was worth it. Unless a person has saffron on hand, with no other use for it, I’d recommend leaving it out and just moving on with the rest of the recipe. Don’t even think about leaving out the cracked black pepper, though. That element provided the perfect accent to the whole dish. I will definitely make this again, but only with fresh, local asparagus that’s in season. This is a great weeknight dinner or salad course recipe, as it goes together quickly.
May 03, 2012
The incredible contrast between the crunchy asparagus and silky burrata is simply divine in your mouth! This recipe is a winner! I served it with a crusty bread and a sun-dried tomato pesto as well…simply yummy!
Burrata with Asparagus Recipe © 2011 Chester Hastings. Photo © 2011 Joseph De Leo. All rights reserved.