Whenever I ask Joel what he wants for dinner, his response is almost always, “well, let’s grill something and make a salad.” Honestly, I get so tired of making a basic green salad. It is fun to change it up once in awhile and certainly easy to do. We both love love love tomatoes; add some burrata and well, heaven!
Burrata, meaning “buttery” in Italian, is a fresh Italian cheese made with mozzarella and cream (you had me at butter and cream!). The outer shell is mozzarella and the inner soft deliciousness is “stracciatella” which is a cheese produced from Italian buffalo milk. At a glance the ball of cheese looks like a ball of mozzarella. Once opened up, the interior reveals a creamy sort of stringy curd. So delicious!
This salad is one of our favorites. When it is more than just Joel and me eating we serve it family style on a platter.
Joel could leave them off, but I love to add croutons to soak up all the juices from the tomatoes, dressing and cheese! They are super easy to make! Tear up whatever bread you have, toss in some olive oil and bake for a few minutes.
Treat yourself and try this delicious salad as a side dish or pour a glass of vino and make it a meal!
Vinaigrette makes about 3/4 cup.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, garlic, oregano, shallots, salt and pepper until combined.
Slowly add the olive oil while continuing to whisk until the dressing is completely combined.
Preheat the oven to 375℉.
Tear (or cut) bread into bite-sized pieces (cubes). I leave the crust on.
Place the bread in a medium-size bowl.
Drizzle the olive oil onto the bread and toss with your hands making sure that each piece has some olive oil on it. Add more olive oil if needed.
Dump the croutons onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread out into a single layer.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly brown. Watch this closely as some bread will toast quicker than others.
Remove from oven and cool.
Cut the tomatoes in any way you would like. Sometimes I cut some of the bigger tomatoes into slices and some of them into wedges. If using cherry tomatoes, cut them in half.
Arrange 1/2 of the cut tomatoes on a platter and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you sliced tomatoes, use these for the bottom layer of the salad.
Lightly spoon just a little bit of the vinaigrette onto the tomatoes and then sprinkle with 1/2 of the sliced basil leaves.
Cut the burrata cheese into about 2" pieces. Spoon the cheese on top of the tomatoes on the platter.
Add the remaining tomatoes to the top of the cheese (letting some of the burrata show through).
Spoon more vinaigrette on top of the salad (the amount is up to you). I usually use about 2 Tablespoons and pass the remaining dressing around the table for those that might like more.
Sprinkle the top of the salad with the remaining basil.