Burrata is like fresh mozzarella gone to finishing school. A burlesque dancing finishing school. It’s creamy and cheesy and versatile as heck and absolutely sufficient simply on its own with a drizzle of oil and grilled bread.
Don’t goo up this burrata recipe with salad or condiments or “added value” crap, please. Let’s just let the big gorgeous milk white orb speak for itself. [Editor’s Note: This burrata recipe prompted us to ponder the notion of selfishness. As in, exactly how many ounces of this supposedly feeds-a-crowd nosh can we cram in our cheese hole before we’re guilty of selfishness? Although it certainly can feed as many as 8, this can also satisfy as few as 2 when relied on as a simple supper.]–Gabrielle Hamilton
What is the difference between burrata and mozzarella?
For those of you unacquainted with the pleasure of burrata, in the words of one of our recipe testers, “It’s like fresh mozzarella’s fancier cousin—a lovely white round of mozzarella that, when cut into, is filled with cream.” Yep, that’s burrata. Or, as we like to think of it, mozzarella’s more forward cousin. Wink.
Burrata With Grilled Bread
- 1 pound burrata (be vigilant with the temperature and freshness as burrata sours so quickly)
- Store-bought or homemade bread slices cut on the diagonal about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Remove any wrapping, paper, and twine from the burrata. Place the cheese in a bowl of very warm water and let it rest there 10 minutes. (You want to make sure the burrata sits in the warm water long enough to lose the refrigerator chill at its creamy center.)
- Drain it well and set it on a clean towel.
- Grill some bread, both sides, to a good char. Stack on a small plate.
- Place the whole burrata in a shallow small bowl.
- Generously pool some extra-virgin olive oil around the base of the burrata—you want to keep the cheese itself pristine white, so don’t drizzle the oil all over the cheese, just around its base.
- Set the burrata with grilled bread on the table alongside a stack of plates and some knives.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This burrata recipe was a no-brainer for me. Is there any possible way that burrata with grilled bread is not going to taste awesome? As expected, it was fantastic.
I used a baguette sliced in 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. I toasted it on the grill over medium heat, since it was on anyways, and 1 minute per side gave it a nice char. I did half the bread plain, as directed in the recipe, and the other half brushed lightly with olive oil. I preferred the olive oil toasts, as it kept the bread a little softer, but I found that once you put the burrata on, the toast softens up anyway, so I don’t think it was a necessary step to brush with oil.
However, the author doesn’t mention anything about salt, and I found it was infinitely better with a couple flakes of Maldon salt sprinkled on top. In the name of testing, I ate a LOT of this stuff…but I think a pound of burrata would serve 8 to 10 as an appetizer.
The words “heavenly” and “decadent” come to mind with the mere thought of burrata. It’s like fresh mozzarella’s fancier cousin—a lovely white round of mozzarella that, when cut into, is filled with cream. This burrata recipe is wonderful in that its purpose is to showcase the cheese. You’re not dolling it up with anything fancy, you’re just serving it with quality olive oil and crusty grilled bread. The bread I used was a crusty whole-wheat baguette, cut into about 4-inch long pieces, cut in half width-wise as well. We were oohing and ahhhing over this simple recipe. It was perfecto!
Seriously indulgent and easy—this burrata recipe really should not be this easy. If you have access to fresh and/or local burrata, you have a new perfect Friday night no-cook recipe, especially going into summer when some crusty baguette slices and cheese are just looking for a bottle of wine. If you’re actually having dinner, this serves several people as a deluxe, fancy, restaurant-style, small-plate starter. We used 1/2 pound for 2 people, as conveniently that was the size of the best-quality burrata available to us at the time.
I heated the water to about 105°F and took the cheese out after exactly 10 minutes. Although it was still cool, it was not overly cold, and any more time in the water and I feared the fresh cheese could dissolve, as it was already threatening to stick to the tea towel I used to drain and blot it. So for 4 people who aren’t too greedy and know there is something else coming, this amount makes an appetizer with several 1-inch-thick slices fresh bread, grilled plain and looking rustic and inviting on a wood board with the cheese just sitting elegantly in the oil. I poured no more than a tablespoon of a fine Napa Valley extra-virgin olive oil around the edge of the burrata and used my small, homemade boule of wheat and rye, sliced then grilled on a cast-iron grill pan. Decadent! Adding a little pile of Maldon sea salt would have been gilding the lily, as the cheese had just a tiny bit of saltiness already.
This was a nice way to serve burrata. Once it was warmed in the water, it spread very nicely on the grilled bread. It’s the simplest of preparations and only takes about 10 minutes to prep. A quarter pound served 2 of us for lunch with six 1/2-inch-thick slices grilled Italian semolina bread. I couldn’t resist tearing a few fresh basil leaves as a garnish. Although the recipe states to avoid any and all additions, I wouldn’t hesitate to include some roasted red peppers or sliced heirloom tomatoes as an accompaniment to the burrata.
This is one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. And my guest and I loved it! I used an Italian bâtard from Acme, sliced it nice and thick, and grilled it in the grill pan. The burrata I got from Trader Joe’s was in a water bath already, so I just rinsed it. I drizzled some of the best olive oil I have around it. And that’s it. Very good.
This burrata with grilled bread is beautiful in its simplicity. I can actually remember where I was the first time that I tasted burrata and how I reacted to it. Tasting this dish took me right back to that experience. How many people does 1 pound burrata serve? If one of them is me, not many. I made this recipe using 1/2 pound burrata for my husband and myself, and my husband was lucky to get a few bites.
Of course, the quality of the burrata is the key. Buy the best that you can find. I like the burrata to shine, so I cut my baguette into thin slices, a little less than 1/4 inch thick. I used a slightly green olive oil, which has peppery undertones. It complemented the burrata nicely. Think of this as a gift that you can easily give to someone, or if, like me, you find it hard to share this, enjoy it yourself.
I almost shrugged this off as another non-recipe recipe that’s not worth trying out. I mean, it’s burrata, olive oil, and bread. Do we need a recipe? Instead of thinking of this as a “recipe,” think of it as a “reminder.” We need those every so often to remind us that we do not need to do anything fancy for dinner, we just need to get a good cheese, treat it right, and serve it with some good oil and bread.
That’s not really the only reason I loved this “reminder.” It also pays attention to details, even if the recipe involves no real cooking. Soaking the burrata in hot water for 10 minutes—I love that tip and will be using it all the time. Why did I never think of that? This eliminates the fridge chill and gets the cheese at optimal serving temperature.
Pouring the oil around the cheese, not on it, may be purely aesthetic, but it’s an easy gesture that makes for a lovelier presentation.
I used homemade sourdough bread (the Tartine recipe) sliced about 1/2 inch thick. The cheese is a bit wet and loose, so a thinner slice might not work as well. I served this to just my wife and myself as part of an antipasto and wine dinner, so technically it served 2, but it could serve 4 as a quick appetizer. It is so simple and so very good.
Originally published July 14, 2020
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Elsa M. Jacobson
Fat, absolutely glorious fat, at its finest! Here you take cheese filled with slightly cheese-y cream, place it in a pool of oil, and then situate it atop delectable grilled bread and devour, bite after bite. Whether you pile the cheese atop the grilled bread, or more daintily place a small blob atop, this is dairy at its decadent finest. In the short time it takes to grill some bread (maybe 5 to 10 minutes?) you have an appetizer or small plate dish that can stand alone, as the author strongly suggests, or be served with a wide range of vegetables, atop a salad, or alongside crudités or assorted condiments, like olives and capers.
Although I love this as suggested, just bread and cheese, it is very rich and on the second round, I added some nice, spicy, fresh radishes to the plate for a change of texture and taste variation. That was so good. I’d recommend any or all of the following: tomato slices, cherry or grape tomatoes, or roasted tomatoes; olives of nearly any sort; greens, especially spicy or bitter, like a nice arugula, either cooked or raw; capers; raw red or orange or purple bell pepper strips; very lightly blanched asparagus or slender green beans or haricots verts; even a pickled hot pepper might work. What I think you’re seeking here is something that combines so well in contrast to the richness of the cheese and toast that it enables you to continue on with the overeating instinct you’ll discover after the first bite.
While the official serving size for my burrata was noted as 1 ounce, I think somewhere in the range between a completely reasonable 2 ounces and a bordering-on-the-ridiculous 4 ounces would be a good place to estimate the serving size. (I confess to eating a full 4 ounces, unsurprisingly, and could easily accomplish that feat again, I’m sure!) So this means the full recipe with 1 pound burrata would serve 4 to 8, and perhaps even more if the servings were bread-heavy (mine were cheese-heavy).
I used a small round sourdough cut into slices at the angle, which provided me the largest surface area per slice, and grilled these thick slices to a well grill-marked state. In an attempt to cut down on the fat, I tried these with plain toast (which was okay but not great, even with well-toasted bread) and fresh, just-sliced bread (which was not at all interesting as a partner to this cheese). A couple of technical notes: I used my burrata right after I got home from the store with it, so I did not have to give it a warm water bath, but I do agree that, as with all fresh cheeses, it is important to buy and use the burrata in a timely manner (fast!). Burrata is not a keeper, and I would strongly recommend buying this not far in advance of the day you plan to serve, or on the very day.