Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Burrata and Basil Oil
If you and a friend want to demolish this for lunch, as I did, then ignore the serving size.Katie Workman basil, burrata, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes
Serving Size: 8 as an appetizer
If you want to end the summer with a bang. If you want to make your friends’ eyes widen with astonished pleasure. If you want to be reminded of how the best and simplest ingredients produce the most magical results — then this is the dish you need to make before the days get shorter and it becomes time to think about stew.
Burrata is what angel smiles would taste like if they were a cheese. Ok, fine, no one knows if there are actually angels, and what their smiles would taste like in cheese form. But humor me; if you have not yet met up with a cushion-ey, sultry ball of burrata, do your best to change that this very week.
Burrata is a semisoft white Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. Imagine the softest, creamiest fresh mozzarella you’ve ever had, but the inside is filled with buttery cream, that runs out when you cut it open. If you’ve ever had a molten chocolate cake (a brownie-like cake with essentially thick, warm chocolate sauce in the middle), then imagine the cheese version of that.
Hopefully by now you’re ready to jump in the car, don’t pass go, and find yourself some burrata. It’s available at cheese shops, and well-stocked supermarkets – if you can’t find it, get fresh mozzarella instead, but don’t give up the search.
Roasting tomatoes caramelizes them and brings out even more of their natural sweetness. You do not have to find cherry tomatoes on the vine to make this, handfuls of off-the vine tomatoes are fine. It’s also very beautiful to get an assortment of cherry tomatoes in different colors.
You can make the (nut free) basil oil ahead of time and store it in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- 1 ½ pounds cherry tomatoes on the vine if desired
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 balls burrata about ½ pound each, at room temperture
- Crusty bread to serve
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat it with nonstick cooking spray. Place the tomatoes on the baking sheet and toss them with 2 tablespoons olive oil (if they are on the vine, just drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil, and use your hands to make sure they are nicely coated). Season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, until they are wrinkly and slightly collapsed.
- Meanwhile, make the basil oil: place the basil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a food processor, and pulse several times to roughly chop. With the motor running add 1/2 cup of the olive oil through the top of the processor. When the oil is added, scrape down the sides of the food processor and process again.
- Transfer the tomatoes to a serving platter along with any juices that they have released, and let cool to barely warm or room temperature. They will release some of their juices as they cool, which is not only okay, but desirable. When ready to serve, cut each burrata in half and nestle the cheese amongst the tomatoes, making sure not to lose any of the creamy filling. You may want to add a bit more salt and pepper. Drizzle about half the basil oil over the tomatoes and cheese and serve with the crusty bread, and the rest of the basil oil on the side for extra drizzling.