Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad Recipe

Balsamic cinnamon reduction adds warmth and flavor to this already deliciously healthy Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad recipe.



From “The Gourmet Dad”

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

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Making meals for a family means catering to a variety of preferences. Chef and father of five, Dean McDermott offers an array of adult- and kid-friendly recipes in his new book The Gourmet Dad (Harlequin, 2015). This easy-to-use meal guide offers more than 100 recipes. The following recipe for an Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad is a great way to get your little ones to fall in love with veggies.

If you haven’t tried it before, you’re going to flip over burrata. The word is Italian for “buttered,” and it’s basically a type of mozzarella with cream inside. Kids love it, too. They even love saying it because it’s fun on the tongue: “Burrrrata.” Like any mozzarella, burrata pairs perfectly with tomatoes. (If you can’t find burrata locally, mozzarella pearls or buffalo’s milk mozzarella will work just as well in this recipe.) I like to pair this creamy cheese with heirloom tomatoes, because they have so much more flavor, not to mention better color, than the tomatoes you’ll find at the supermarket. You can also include some healthy and delicious roasted beets! Toss thick-sliced beets with olive oil, salt and pepper and cook them in a 400 degrees F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, and boom! You just made magic.

Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

Croutons:
• 1/2 loaf sourdough bread, crust removed
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Reduction (sauce):
• 12 ounces balsamic vinegar
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder, or to taste
• 2 teaspoons brown sugar
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• Splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)

Salad:
• 1-1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
• 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1 small bunch fresh basil, most leaves minced and a few whole for garnish
• Minced leaves of 3 sprigs fresh oregano
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
• 8 ounces burrata, cut into wedges

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degree F.

2. Tear the sourdough into 2-inch cubes. In a large bowl, toss the cubes with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Squeeze each piece to make sure it absorbs the oil. Spread the cubes evenly on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the croutons from the oven to a large plate and set aside.

3. Combine the vinegar and the cinnamon stick in a medium heavy pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and reduce the liquid by half, about 10 to 12 minutes. (The liquid should be slightly syrupy, but watch that it doesn’t burn or become gummy.) Remove from the heat.

4. Stir the chili powder, brown sugar, salt and pepper into the reduction. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add a splash of lemon juice to brighten the flavor, if desired. Remove the cinnamon stick and discard. Cool the reduction completely.

5. Combine the reserved croutons, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, basil, oregano and olive oil in a large bowl and toss gently. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

6. Place the salad on a serving platter, and arrange the burrata wedges evenly around the salad. Drizzle with the reserved balsamic reduction and garnish with the whole basil leaves before serving.

For the Kiddos

Serves 2

Let it bloom! Transforming salads into flowers gives kids a chance to connect with what they’re eating in a fun and satisfying way. It is the best way to re-create a garden on the plate and is the next best thing to picking the vegetables and eating them in the garden.

Ingredients

• 1/2 pound heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
• 6 small fresh basil leaves
• 1/2 cup sourdough croutons (from adult recipe)
• 3 ounces fresh mozzarella balls or pearls, or whole fresh mozzarella, cut into large cubes
• 10 cherry tomatoes
• 2 whole fresh chives, cut into 10 pieces of equal length
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon honey

1. On a large plate arrange the heirloom tomato wedges so that they resemble flower petals. Build stems using the basil leaves. Create a flowerpot or earthy soil out of the croutons. Next, decorate the middle of each flower with a few pieces of mozzarella.

2. Make little bugs from the cherry tomatoes. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, arrange them on the plate and attach 2 chive pieces to each to form antennae.

3. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, olive oil and honey and stir well. Drizzle this dressing over the top of the salad and let your kiddies go to town!

More from The Gourmet Dad:

Mom’s Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe
Malt Vinegar Fish and Chips Recipe


Recipe reprinted with permission from The Gourmet Dad: Easy and Delicious Meals the Whole Family Will Love by Dean McDermott and published by Harlequin Nonfiction, 2015.