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Ripe and juicy heirloom tomatoes are everywhere this time of year, and this classic way to enjoy them is always a treat. I lay a bit of Pierre Poivre under the tomatoes, where it hydrates and infuses them flavor.
2 medium-sized heirloom tomatoes
A few cherry tomatoes if you have them
1 large piece of burrata
Fresh basil leaves (if they are large slice them into thin strips)
Wash and dry your tomatoes. I like to then give them a slight chill by putting them in the fridge for a half hour. At the same time pull your burrata out if it's chilled so it can warm up.
Place the tomatoes on a cutting board stem side down. Using a sharp knife (you can also use a serrated knife but the edge won't be quite as clean), cut them into thick slices, removing any bits of tough and flavorless core (the white part). I find it much easier to cleanly remove the core pieces when you slice them this way as opposed to crosswise.
If you have cherry tomatoes just slice those in half. I usually either eat the ends of the large tomatoes immediately, as the skin makes them tough to eat in caprese, or chop them and add them to pico de gallo.
On a large plate scatter the Pierre evenly in the center, then lay the tomatoes on top. Place the burrata ball on top of the tomatoes, then season with fleur de sel or another crunchy salt and scatter some basil leaves over the salad.
Drizzle with any nice olive oil and some aged balsamic vinegar and enjoy!
I also love to have some bread on hand to sop up the cream from the burrata and the juice from the tomatoes.
• If you end up with tomatoes that are a bit flat tasting (low acid), try slicing them in half, brushing them with brown butter mixed with white or red miso and Lula N.41, then giving the slices a brief broil to char them a bit. Serve with arugula, a bit of fresh lemon, and croutons in addition to the burrata.
• Sometimes I like to replace the salt with some oil packed anchovy fillets, I like Agostino Recca from Sicily or the Antiguan style ones from Ortiz. Croutons and a touch of lemon are a great addition too with the anchovies.
• I like making a spin on this for breakfast sometimes, using eggs instead of burrata. Top large slices of tomato with a layer of Parmesan and some Pierre and broil them, then top with poached eggs, a bit of olive oil, some salt, and a bit of Espelette if you like some heat. Serve with toast.
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue.
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