Author Notes: “Burrata—which means “buttered” in Italian—is one of life’s great pleasures. The outside is firm mozzarella, the inside an oozy combination of stracciatella and cream. The combination of the three is unsurprisingly good. Burrata can be paired with all sorts of flavors—citrus fruit or juice, sweet balsamic, peppery arugula, or toasted spices. Here, sweet red grapes are skewered and grilled—a method that is as simple as it is impressive. If you want to get ahead, marinate the grapes in the fridge for up to 1 day before grilling. If you can’t get hold of burrata, balls of mozzarella make an absolutely fine alternative.”
This recipe is featured in the story, A Simple, Make-Ahead Menu from Ottolenghi’s Latest Cookbook, sponsored by Ten Speed Press. It is is reprinted from Simple, by Yotam Ottolenghi with Tara Wigley and Esme Howarth, with permission from our partner Ten Speed Press. —Food52
Serves: 6 as a generous starter
Prep time: 1 hrs 5 min
Cook time: 5 min
ounces seedless red grapes, pulled off their vine
tablespoons Valdespino vinegar (or other best-quality sherry vinegar)
tablespoons olive oil
garlic clove, crushed
teaspoons dark brown sugar
teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
Flaked sea salt and black pepper
large balls of burrata or buffalo mozzarella
small purple or green basil sprigs, to serve
- Put the grapes in a medium bowl with vinegar, oil, garlic, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon of flaked salt, and plenty of pepper. Mix well and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Thread 5 or 6 grapes onto each skewer. Don’t throw away the marinade; you’ll need it when serving.
- Place a grill pan over high heat and ventilate your kitchen well. Once hot, add the grape skewers in batches and grill for 2 to 3 minutes, turning after 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- When ready to serve, tear the balls of burrata in half and place one-half on each plate. Arrange the grape skewers to lean against them—2 per portion—and spoon 1 1/2 teaspoon of the marinade over the cheese. Alternatively, arrange on a platter to serve a crowd. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds, garnish with a sprig of basil, and serve.
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin