I had burrata cheese for the first time a few years ago at a restaurant in LA and let me tell you, I have not stopped singing its praises since. For those of you who may not be familiar with burrata, please allow me to introduce you to it — though I’m not sure my words and pictures can do this heavenly cheese justice!
From the outside, burrata cheese looks like just a ball of fresh mozzarella, but when the mozzarella is cut into, a sweet and creamy inner layer oozes forth. This inner layer is made up of delicately soft and smooth curds of mozzarella mixed with cream. For all of you fresh mozzarella lovers out there, burrata really kicks it up a notch.
Similar to mozzarella, burrata is wonderful in a tomato and basil salad. It can also be served simply atop some bread with a little drizzle of olive oil. When I first experienced it in LA, it was paired with some roasted beets and topped with toasted hazelnuts. I split this dish with a friend of mine as an appetizer and we found ourselves fighting for the last bite.
I’d been thinking about trying to recreate the beets and burrata dish for a while, but fresh burrata can be difficult to find. When some beets came in my CSA box recently, I was inspired to look a little harder for the cheese. Luckily, a store near my house that carries somewhat exotic and hard to find items had it in stock.
While I wasn’t completely satisfied with the texture of the burrata I found, the flavor of the dish overall was delicious. Definitely good enough to fight for the last bite again. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Roasted Beets and Burrata Cheese topped with Hazelnuts
Inspired by a dish from Ford’s Filling Station
The beets in my CSA box came with their green tops. Beet greens are very similar to chard, so I sautéed them with a little olive oil (like I do chard) and added them to the dish. They had a nice mild flavor with just a touch of bitterness that added a little complexity to the taste.
- 3 medium beets, with beet greens attached
- olive oil
- ¼-½ cup hazelnuts
- 1 ball burrata cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Wash, peel and cut the beetroots into roughly 1-inch cubes. Toss the diced beets with a little olive oil (1-2 tablespoons) and salt and pepper. Spread beets on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven at 400° for 30 minutes or until beets are tender and have caramelized or browned around the edges.
While the beetroots are roasting, roughly chop the beet greens. Heat about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. Add the stems of the beet greens to the pot. Cook for a few minutes and then add the leaves. Cook until greens are fully wilted and tender. Stirring occasionally.
The hazelnuts can either be toasted dry in a small pan on the stove or put on a separate tray in the oven with the roasting beets. Either way, they should toast in about 5 minutes or so. Make sure to watch them closely, so they don’t burn. Once toasted, roughly chop and remove any loose skins from the nuts.
To assemble the dish, layer the beet greens and roasted beets in a bowl. Top the beets with 1-2 slices of the burrata cheese, add salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss a few toasted hazelnuts on top and enjoy!
Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:
|Recipe Report Card||Notes About Recipe Ratings|
Four Chefs (Delicious!)
|As I mentioned above, I was not totally satisfied with the texture of the burrata—the outer mozzarella layer was not quite soft enough. The flavor of the overall dish was spot on though.|
Three Easy Chairs (Average Difficulty)
|This was not a difficult dish to make, but burrata is not the easiest cheese to find, so I am lowering its easy score to a 3.|
Three Apples (Average Nutritional Quality)
|Beets and beet greens are certainly healthy, but the decadent burrata cheese adds calories and saturated fat to this dish.|
Three Leaves (Average Environmental Friendliness)
|The hazelnuts were organic and the beets were organic and local. Unfortunately, the burrata was neither organic nor local. You can bet that I’m on the lookout for another more sustainable and tasty burrata though…|