Burrata cheese with asparagus is an easy, elegant, and unexpected appetizer that’s made with the freshest burrata cheese, asparagus, raisins, pine nuts, and prosciutto. Salty, sweet, earthy, and lovely.
This burrata with asparagus melds some unexpected ingredients to truly incredulous effect. Those of you who’ve actually had the pleasure of tasting the ridiculously rich, unthinkably creamy kin to fresh mozzarella known as burrata can understand why we’re crushing on it. Words can’t quite describe it, you’ll just have to try it and experience for yourself how it elevates everything else on the plate alongside it.–Renee Schettler Rossi
*What Exactly is Burrata?
Italian for butter, burrata is a buffalo or cow’s milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer part is solid mozzarella, while the inside contains stracciatella (a stretched curd, fresh, cheese) and cream, which oozes out when the cheese is sliced. It has a soft, smooth texture and makes a surprising presentation.
Burrata Cheese With Asparagus
- 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
- Two (6-ounce) balls burrata cheese*
- 4 slices prosciutto di Parma (optional)
Soak the raisins
- In a small bowl, soak the golden raisins or sultanas in enough warm water to cover for at least 5 minutes. Drain the plumped fruit and pat dry.
Trim and cook the asparagus
- 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.
Toast the pine nuts
- In a large, dry skillet over low heat, warm the pine nuts until lightly toasted and fragrant, shaking the pan occasionally. Tip the pine nuts onto a plate to cool.
Toast the bread crumbs
- Return the skillet to medium heat, pour in 1/4 cup oil, and wait until the oil is hot but not smoking. 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.
Assemble the burrata with asparagus
- In a large bowl, combine the drained plumped fruit, the asparagus, pine nuts, saffron, if using, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- 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 olive oil. If desired, drape each salad with a thin slice prosciutto di Parma. Serve cold or at room temperature.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
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!
This burrata with asparagus 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.
This burrata with asparagus recipe is an 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.
This burrata with asparagus recipe 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.
I found the combination of ingredients in this burrata cheese with asparagus recipe interesting. I 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. The burrata works very well with both the asparagus and the raisins. 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 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 cooked the asparagus longer than recommended in the recipe, as I 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.
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.
This was an interesting combination of ingredients and flavors for a salad. I really enjoyed the burrata cheese with asparagus–even though I felt like I had to hide the asparagus in my shopping cart due to it being out of season. They go very well together. The pine nuts added a nice crunch and flavor and the bread crumbs were a fantastic addition.
I wasn’t as happy with the raisins. Maybe something a little more tart like cranberries would have been better. Or some citrus like orange or grapefruit segments. Since the cheese wasn’t served in bite-size pieces, I would also leave the asparagus in whole spears next time as well. I think it would make the presentation a little nicer.
Originally published February 11, 2021
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
This burrata with asparagus makes an elegant salad, the majority of which could be prepped in advance. 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, 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.
To make it in advance, I’d follow the recipe up ’til step four, and wait until right before serving to plate everything.