There are some things that are just plain sexy to eat – oysters, obviously, or uni, or a perfectly poached egg. And then there’s burrata, with its lush, milky curds nestled inside a tender skin of fresh mozzarella. It’s so fresh and delicate that it’s not terribly easy to come by, unless you’re willing to camp out at your favorite Italian market some morning on a day when they have it available, so when word came out that the Downcity outpost of Farmstead would be getting a small shipment in, I sent Mike out to grab some for us.
While burrata is fabulous to eat on it’s own, with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, I had another plan – a big salad of heirloom tomatoes, basil, torn croutons and burrata, inspired by the one that appears in Sunday Suppers at Lucques. Being me, I didn’t go through all of the steps in the recipe – I made my standard sherry vinaigrette, which I gently tossed with a variety of halved or wedged, salted cherry tomatoes and petite heirlooms, then I scattered the tomatoes around my wedges of burrata, added my homemade croutons, scattered sliced green and opal basil all around, then gave it all another drizzle of vinaigrette and a sprinkle of salt. It was a fabulous interplay of colors, textures and flavors, and the salad was substantial enough that we could have made a meal of it. But there was the issue of the mullet.
I had walked up to Mercato del Mare on my lunch break yesterday to get some fish for tonight’s meal when I spotted this guy and his brother peering at me with those big bright eyes. I just couldn’t resist bringing him home.
Mike stuffed the fish with sliced lemons and thyme, and put it in a simple marinade of olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice while I assembled our salad, then he grilled the fish in a grill basket while we enjoyed our first course and some fizzy rosė on the patio. When the fish was done, I placed it on a bed of red sorrel leaves and drizzled an olive and anchovy vinaigrette over the top. The mullet was delicious, with the meaty texture of an oily fish but without the strong flavor, and we picked the bones clean.
Summer may have taken her sweet old time coming to New England this year, but now that she’s here I’m relishing every minute. Have a great weekend, everyone.