Burrata Caprese With Roasted Anaheim Chilies & Cilantro Pesto
Classic Caprese. It's insanely simple. And if the tomatoes are ripe and the mozzarella is fresh, it's also downright delicious. There are few classic Italian recipes that I love more than the fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella concoction. Often presented with a balsamic drizzle or on occasion topped with a nutty pesto instead of basil leaves, you really just can't go wrong with the red, white, and green stack of goods. I adore caprese so much in fact, it's on my wedding menu in lieu of a green salad. Only it'll have some hass avocados added for California flair and a pesto drizzle instead of basil leaves.
But let's face it. While it's always a guaranteed winner, we've seen traditional caprese time and time again. So since I'm a pretty big fan of twisting up a classic recipe to make it my own and since I also kinda have a knack for fusion, I created a caprese that I've never tasted nor seen before. And man, is it mouth-watering, divine.
So burrata has gotten kinda trendy lately. Popping up on menus left and right, I'm not really complaining. The ooey-gooey, rich and yet, mild white cheese made from both fresh mozzarella and cream is utterly delectable. Drizzled in olive oil and topped with some cracked pepper, it's pretty magical. And that's exactly why I'd take it any day over the usual suspect of buffalo mozzarella.
Now where the fusion comes into play. Besides Italian, Mexican and Southwestern food know how to melt my heart more than any other cuisine. So many complex flavors when it's prepared with skills and TLC, I go crazy over dishes with roasted peppers, cilantro, and queso fresco. But how in the heck was I to make a Southwestern caprese?
Roasted Anaheim chile peppers and a cilantro pumpkin seed pesto. That's how.
Guys, I can't even begin to profess my love for this new creation. While it's unique and perhaps not for every palate, Chris and I found it absolutely addicting. The heat from the roasted chilies paired with the crazy creamy and mild burrata..with sweet and tangy heirloom tomatoes...all topped off with a kicked up, flavor-packed pesto. It was on another level.
Burrata Caprese With Roasted Anaheim Chilies and Cilantro Pesto
2-3 vine-ripened or heirloom tomatoes
2 Anaheim peppers (poblanos would also work very well)
3-4 ounces Burrata cheese (you can find it at Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and most gourmet cheese shops. Otherwise, use fresh mozzarella)
Salt and pepper
For the Pesto:
1 bunch cilantro (about 1 1/2 cups, packed)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil (plus more on reserve, if needed)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1) Turn on your oven's broiler or pre-heat to 450 degrees. Place peppers in a pan and brush with oil and a sprinkling of salt. Place in the oven. After 15 minutes, carefully flip the peppers over and roast an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
2) Prepare the pesto. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add more olive oil as needed.
3) Once the peppers have completely cooled, remove the outer skin. Then, split down the middle with a knife. Cut off the top/stem portion and remove all the extra seeds. Cut in large portions, about the size of a tomato slice.
4) Slice tomatoes and sprinkle with salt. Layer the tomatoes and the chile peppers on a plate. Place the burrata on top or to the side and sprinkle with pepper. For a pretty presentation, which I forgot to do, spoon some olive oil onto the plate and place the burrata on top. That way, the burrata will really "pop" if you're using a white plate.
5) With a spoon (or squirt bottle if you have one) drizzle the pesto on top. Serve with crotini or eat on its own.