There is nothing that says summer to me more than eating a platter of tomato burrata salad. I mean, yes there is no longer having to wear ten layers of outer wear, visiting the beach, and sitting out on the deck for dinner, among other things. These are clues summer is here. But Italian caprese salad makes it official.
This post was originally published on September 3rd, 2015. It has been extensively rewritten.
Hello! Here is a blast from the past with an update for one of my very first posts. Back from when only mom was reading this. *waves* Hi, mom! 🙂
I’ve done some rewriting, added a few sections, and improved the photos. (Though I kept some of the old ones to show you.)
Every year I wait, with varying amounts of patience I’ll admit, for the first local tomatoes of the year to show up at the farmer’s markets and farm stands around here. While I do eat a fair amount of canned tomatoes through the winter and spring, I honestly don’t see the point of eating fresh tomatoes during those months since it only makes me miss the flavor of a ripe tomato even more.
But when they do arrive? I rejoice. And then immediately buy a pile of them and make a caprese salad.
Even my daughter can’t resist this salad.
Down below in the collage of previous photos is a tiny one she made from a cherry tomato with a few slices of mozzarella and arranged on my little fish plate. She was 10 when I took these pictures. We had gone to a local farm stand in the next town over. While I picked out some big tomatoes, she picked her favorite little ones.
That night we served it alongside a larger salad on my large fish plate. (I have four fish plates – one small, two medium, and one large. I love them for serving salads, both for their shape and because they are cute.) Though I switched out the plates for the new photos, I still love those plates. They went great with my Spanish garlic shrimp!
I like my caprese salad either with mozzarella or with burrata. Either has a place on my dinner table weekly through the summer into the fall. However, considering this is tomato burrata salad, let’s talk about the burrata version!
How do you Make Tomato Burrata Salad?
To make tomato burrata caprese salad, thickly slice a few of your favorite summer tomatoes then arrange the tomato slices with balls of burrata, and scatter basil over. Dress the salad with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Slice the tomatoes (and seed if you wish).
- Arrange the tomato slices and burrata in a serving bowl.
- Scatter sliced basil and whole basil leaves around.
- Drizzle over olive oil. Add salt and pepper.
- Drizzle over balsamic vinegar.
This salad is at its best with the freshest ingredients. Fresh picked basil, summer tomatoes, and fresh burrata will make an amazing salad.
Start with the tomatoes. I like buying local beefsteak tomatoes since they tend not to be too seedy and they are easily available in the summer. Other options are heirloom tomatoes, your own tomatoes which you grew, or flavorful supermarket tomatoes.
Slice the tomatoes thickly, seed them if you want, and arrange them on a platter.
Drain the burrata and arrange it either in the center or to one side of the platter. You will have either one or two balls of burrata in an 8-oz container.
Take a few of the basil leaves and tuck them around the salad. Then take rest of the leaves and slice them thinly. Scatter the basil leaves over the top of the tomatoes and burrata.
Drizzle over olive oil. Then sprinkle on some kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
At the table drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and serve.
Note: We are not much for tomato seeds in this house, so we seed all the tomatoes for anything we make, including this caprese. Seeding or not is up to you.
Part will depend on your feelings about tomato seeds and part will depend on how much tomato juice you want to mix with the oil and vinegar. I find that really ripe tomatoes have so much juice that they can drown out the other flavors if you don’t seed them.
Balsamic vinegar or not?
While some argue for the simplicity of tomatoes, mozzarella (or burrata), basil, and olive oil only, I have always enjoyed balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top for its complex, sweet acidity which marries so well with all the other flavors in this salad.
Since you are drizzling the balsamic over the salad, it is important to use a better grade of balsamic, but what does that mean? Without getting into it too much, there are three main grades of balsamic: traditional, condiment, and commercial.
The highest grade is the traditional (or tradizionale). It is quite expensive, aged for 12+ years, and you’re not going to find it in the supermarket. If you have some, it is lovely drizzled over the salad on your plate.
Next up is condiment grade. This is probably where you want to be. These vinegars have good depth of flavor, have been aged a bit, and are more reasonably priced.
However, condiment grade is a bit of a wild west, so how do you know if you’re getting a good condiment grade balsamic? Price is one indicator. If the balsamic is cheap, it’s cheap. Also, look for caramel color in the ingredients and avoid those. Instead try to find a vinegar which is labeled ‘Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI’ and see what they have in your price range.
(Remember that if you are buying a good grade of balsamic, it will be thicker and more flavorful so you won’t need as much and it will last longer. However, you may enjoy it so much, you use it more. Only you can decide what choice to make! 🙂 )
If it’s not in your price range, skip it. Go with some good olive oil, some salt and pepper, the burrata, and garden tomatoes and you’ll be quite happy.
What is burrata?
Burrata is a soft cheese with an outer skin of mozzarella and a filling of mozzarella curds and cream. If you want more info, check out my ingredient spotlight: what is burrata cheese.
Caprese Salad Variations
Since I love traditional caprese salad and tomato burrata caprese salad so much, I have created a few variations on the theme. If you love this salad, you may love my heirloom caprese salad with mozzarella. This is a more traditional caprese though I did change it up with some balsamic pesto.
Maybe you have some beautiful, ripe peaches and want to try my grilled peach and burrata caprese salad. Or how about my strawberry burrata salad? That one uses a balsamic reduction, though you can switch it back to a higher end condiment grade balsamic.
If you try my recipe for Burrata Tomato Salad, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Italian Tomato Burrata Salad (Caprese)
- 8 oz burrata, packed in water
- 2-3 large ripe tomatoes
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, sliced thinly
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Place the burrata in the middle of a low bowl.
- Cut the tomatoes into thick slices and arrange them around the burrata. Then top with basil.
- Drizzle the salad with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Just before serving drizzle over some balsamic. Enjoy the salad on its own or with some crusty bread.
- Balsamic: Use the best balsamic you have. A thicker, aged balsamic will give the salad a complex, sweet-tart flavor.
- Burrata: I find 8-oz burrata in either one large or two medium balls of cheese. If you have two, you can arrange them together with the tomatoes or split the salad into two smaller bowls.
- Mozzarella: You can substitute sliced mozzarella for the burrata, though it won't be a tomato burrata salad anymore.
- Basil: I like a mix of whole basil leaves and sliced basil in the salad.