The recipe I made a few weeks ago for tomato, basil, and goat cheese shortcakes, a savory twist on the classic berry shortcake, got me thinking about what other recipes I could reinterpret. First on my list was this recipe for Nectarines with Burrata, Prosciutto, and Arugula, which is a spin on the classic, insalata caprese, made with mozzarella and tomatoes, and prosciutto e melone, a classic summer appetizer of, you guessed it, prosciutto and melon.
Though delicious as they are, I thought that these dishes could do with a bit of shaking up and decided to create a hybrid dish inspired by them both: I substituted mozzarella with burrata* cheese, swapped the sweet tomatoes for the even sweeter nectarines, and kept the prosciutto, reasoning that if prosciutto works well with melon, why not nectarines? And oh, how right I was -- this my friends, is not your average salad. The salty rich prosciutto, creamy mild burrata, sweet juicy nectarines, and peppery arugula made for one of the best dishes I've had all summer, and every bite was a little different thanks to all of the different flavors. Added bonus: this is a no cook dish (balsamic reduction aside) and is the perfect summer lunch, light dinner, or even appetizer. If you're still sitting here reading this post, what are you doing?? Go make this recipe right now!
A couple of notes: If you've never tried burrata cheese, you don't know what you're missing. Burrata, which means "buttered" in Italian, is a fresh Italian cheese with an outer shell made of mozzarella, and a soft inside made from a mixture of mozzarella and cream -- think of it as the more passionate, out going cousin of mozzarella di bufala. It is one of the best things you will ever eat and should be available in most well stocked supermarkets and specialty food stores. If you can't find it, however, good quality mozzarella di bufala will do just fine. Don't feel like making a balsamic reduction? You can dress this salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make it completely heat-free.
NECTARINE, BURRATA, PROSCIUTTO, AND ARUGULA SALAD
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 bag of baby arugula
4 medium nectarines, cut in to slices
6 ounces of burrata cheese, torn in to pieces
8 slices of prosciutto
To make the balsamic reduction, pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan or skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let the balsamic vinegar simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is reduced by half. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Make a nice bed of arugula on each of the four plates and top each with the nectarines, burrata, and prosciutto. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction and some olive oil. Serves 4.