Monday, December 26, 2016

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Baby Greens, Prosciutto, Burrata Cheese, Basil Oil and Balsamic Glaze

Inspired by the Market Tomato Salad with Burrata Cheese starter we had at The Parkway Grill in Pasadena for our office Christmas lunch, I concocted this version using essentially the same ingredients (tomatoes, burrata, prosciutto, pureed basil in olive oil, and balsamic glaze), but added some baby greens to the mix. I also made my portions larger so that the salad could be a meal in itself rather than just an appetizer. Burrata cheese is a delicious and mild fresh mozzarella cheese with a soft, creamy center, and used to be hard to come by here in the U.S. except in specialty or high-end markets due to its delicate nature. Now I can buy the reasonably-priced BelGioioso brand at our local Albertsons. The beauty of this recipe is that you can use whatever tomatoes or greens are in season and substitute the prosciutto with any other thinly sliced cured meat according to availability or your taste. 

As an afterthought, I think that adding some "supremes" (a fancy way of saying segments) of Blood or Mandarin oranges and/or even roasted beets will kick this recipe up a notch. Will try that next time.

Serves 4-6

1 1/2 lbs. heirloom tomatoes (whatever's in season), sliced or cut into serving sized pieces
4 cups baby greens, arugula, or your fav lettuce blend
8-oz. tub of burrata cheese (carefully cut the cheese ball into 1" thick wedges)
4 oz. prosciutto, each slice cut in half (ok to substitute with Serrano ham or other cured meat)
Good quality balsamic vinegar (my fav is the Blood Orange Balsamic from We Olive ) 
Pureed basil in oil*
Kosher or sea salt
Black pepper

*Basil Oil:
1. Blanch 2 cups of fresh basil leaves in a medium pot of boiling water for 10 seconds. Pour into a colander, drain, and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Pat dry with paper towels.

2. Place the blanched basil leaves into a blender; pour in 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and blend/pulse for 10-15 seconds until the basil is almost smooth. If not using right away, pour the basil oil into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days (let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before using).

Basil leaves.

Blanch the basil leaves 10 seconds in boiling water.

Rinse the leaves in a colander under cold water; pat dry with paper towels.

Add the basil leaves to a blender along with 3/4 cup of olive oil; pulse 10-15 seconds until smooth.


1. Place a handful of salad greens onto each plate. Top with sliced tomatoes, 4-5 slices of burrata cheese and 4-5 pieces of the halved prosciutto. 

2. Dress each salad with a generous drizzle of the basil oil and balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

 These are locally grown cocktail and heirloom cherry tomatoes.


 Basil oil, Burrata cheese and prosciutto.

Burrata cheese is really soft and delicate, so cut it carefully, first in half, then into wedges.

 Place a handful of greens on the bottom of the plate, top with sliced tomatoes, burrata wedges, prosciutto, and a generous drizzle of the basil oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper.

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