Summer is no time to be standing near a hot stove for any longer than mere minutes. Neither is it a time to be stuffing yourself with large, heavy meals. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about going on a diet here (cue a dreamy concoction of cheese and cream in a few second). I am talking about eating refreshing meals, taking advantage of all of those colourful seasonal fruits and vegetables that summer’s bounty has to offer, and being able to serve whatever you’re going to consume either cold or at room-temperature whilst spending just a few minutes in the kitchen, max. One of my seasonal favourites are juicy, brightly-coloured stone fruits such as cherries, peaches, apricots and nectarines, so this simple salad with pan-seared apricots, luscious burrata, thin slices of slightly nutty and salty prosciutto di Parma and fresh basil definitely fits the bill on a scorching summer’s day if you ask me.
Honestly? I would be lying if I claimed the seared apricots are really the star of the show here. Obviously, it is that Italian burrata – which literally translates into ‘buttered’, but it is essentially a luscious cream-stuffed mozzarella – that I am really after. I could blissfully eat burrata served at room-temperature simply drizzled with a little bit of olive oil, a dash of freshly cracked black pepper and a sprinkle of salt – the way it technically should be served – every day for the rest of summer and my love for it would never fade… but the contents of my wallet would.
Sadly (but perhaps for the better), all of that irresistible creamy goodness does come with a rather steep price. So, what do you do when you like luxurious things, but don’t really have the funds to support it? First of all, I do not actually eat stuff like burrata every day, but also: rather than serving it as an appetizer that would leave me wanting for more, I prefer to stretch, figuratively and literally, that precious cheese a little and turn it into a more substantial, luxurious lunch (for two) or meal.
And that’s how this ‘summer fruit salad’ really came into being. When sliced and ‘stretched’ open, burrata’s thick creamy interior is allowed to seep out, enveloping and enriching everything it comes in contact with. It’s that mild, creamy interior that complements most sweet summer fruits so well – as any type of dairy-based creamy substance does, really. While I chose apricots here, which are quickly pan-seared to add a hint of caramelised bitterness, they can easily be replaced by firm peaches, or a couple of handfuls of summer berries (as I did in this recipe here or look for other cheese and fruit combinations in this post here) if you like. The prosciutto is there to add that welcoming hint of savouriness to balance out the sweetness of both the cheese and fruit. Serve it all with some crispy crostini brushed with olive oil and some flaky sea salt or regular lightly toasted bread so you can mop up every bit of that delicious cream and perhaps a cold glass of white wine, or icy lemonade on the side and you are good to go!
Burrata with Pan-Seared Apricots and Prosciutto di Parma
- 1 burrata (about 200g)
- 250g ripe apricots
- 60g Prosciutto di Parma
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 8 - 10 basil leaves, torn if large
- Drizzle Extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Crostini, toasted bread, or rusks to serve
MethodNote: preparation time does not include the 30 minutes the cheese needs to get to room temperature. -
- Take the burrata out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking so that it’s room temperature when you serve it.
- Wash and slice apricots in half and remove the stones.
- Place a frying pan or skillet over high heat and very very lightly oil the pan with some oil on kitchen paper. Once the pan starts to smoke, place apricots inside cut-side down. Leave in the pan for a few minutes without touching until a nice sear has formed on the cut-side, but not so long that the apricots turn too soft and mushy. Remove seared apricots from pan and drizzle with the white balsamic vinegar.
- Plate burrata with the prosciutto draped around it. Place apricots and basil on top of the prosciutto, then drizzle extra- virgin olive oil over the ingredients. Grind some black pepper over the top and serve with toasted bread or crostini.