Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad with Basil Chili Oil and Aged Balsamic Reduction
Really long title, huh? Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad with Basil Chili Oil and Aged Balsamic Reduction. I know! I just couldn’t help myself. I mean what do you leave off? Of course not the heirlooms or the burrata. Those are the stars but not even the basil chili oil or the aged balsamic…they were the supporting cast AND they were SO good!!
Let’s start at the beginning. The heirloom tomatoes. I loved the coloring, well and the flavor of course, of the cute little green zebras (or whatever it is they’re called). And the multi-colored cherry tomatoes. Then of course I added fresh basil. I have several plants growing outside and I put it in just about everything lately. Side note: I posted some pictures of my basil cutting and also those pretty flowers you see in the pictures along with lots of others on Instagram if you’re interested. For me the real star of this salad is the burrata. Have you ever had burrata? No? It’s one of my favorite cheeses. It’s mozzarella but on another level. I’ve heard it described as cream filled mozzarella. It comes submerged in liquid (don’t ask me what that is) and it’s in the form of small rounds or balls really. When you cut into a round, creamy cheese and curds ooze out. It’s wonderful! Next, I wanted to make the olive oil drizzle a little more special. I took a hot red chili from a local farmer and some of that wonderful basil of mine and infused the oil. It was a nice twist. Then I took some aged balsamic and simmered it to reduce it almost to a syrup. The flavor is intensified and it clings to the food rather than rolls off like it’s liquid form. My new favorite thing.
This would be a really nice, light vegetarian meal or in my family…course one of many. If you didn’t want to infuse olive oil or reduce aged balsamic just use them the way they come and the stars on this plate will still shine. If you can’t find burrata then of course use mozzarella and if you can’t get heirlooms then use regular tomatoes. Guess what? That’s a caprese salad. They’re awesome. Don’t worry.
TO MAKE INFUSED CHILI OIL:
Take a small bottle of extra virgin olive oil and heat it over medium heat in a heavy sauce pan until it begins to shimmer and bubble at the edges. Meanwhile, cut a hot chili into small slices. When the olive oil heats up pour it over the sliced chili along with several pieces of fresh basil. Let it cool and then pour it into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use or up to a month. Garlic would also work well and you can use red pepper flakes instead of a fresh pepper. Enjoy!
- 3/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 small heirloom tomatoes per serving, sliced
- 1 burrata cheese round per serving
- 6-8 whole basil leaves per serving
- 1/4 cup infused basil chili oil (instructions above)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat simmer balsamic vinegar until it's reduced by half.
- Arrange sliced tomatoes in a circle on a salad plate.
- Place burrata round in the middle.
- Slide basil leaves between every other tomato slice.
- Drizzle with infused olive oil and balsamic reduction.
- Salt and pepper to taste.