Burrata with crispy pancetta and quick sautéed tomatoes
By Mary Berg
1 ball burrata cheese
¼ cup diced (½ cm) pancetta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
¼–½ cup canola or vegetable oil, for frying
7–9 fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon finely chopped basil
1 teaspoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
A few slices of baguette or sour dough, toasted or untoasted, for serving
Set out the burrata so that it comes up to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the dish.
In a medium skillet, cook the pancetta over medium heat until crisp and golden brown. Remove the pancetta to a paper towel lined plate, add in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil along with the halved cherry tomatoes and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook the tomatoes until they begin to release some of their juices and break down just a bit, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add in the balsamic vinegar and cook for an additional minute just to bring everything together. Remove the tomatoes from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, heat enough canola or vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a small skillet so that it covers the bottom of the pan. When hot, quickly fry a few basil leaves at a time just until they are crisp, dark green, a little translucent, but not browned. This should only take a few seconds. Remove the herbs from the oil, season with a pinch of salt, and continue to fry until all of the leaves are crisp.
In a small bowl, mix together the remaining tablespoon of olive oil with the chopped basil and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
To serve, spoon some of the tomatoes into a low-sided dish and top with the burrata. Cut or tear the top of the burrata open to expose the creamy deliciousness on the inside. Spoon a few more tomatoes over the burrata, drizzle on the herby olive oil, toss on the crisp basil leaves, and season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with some good, chewy bread, toasted or untoasted, and you’ll be living la dolce vita!
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