Burrata takes fresh mozzarella to another level. This creamy, oozy fresh cheese is a hollow ball of mozzarella filled with the decadent blend of cream and ricotta-like curds. The marriage of juicy pears and creamy cheese is a classic, but this love affair is particularly amazing. The simplicity of slicing pears and piling the luxurious burrata on top, then spooning on some homemade hazelnut-mint pesto, will make this your new favorite party starter, but it’s also an extra-special snack to have on hand at any time. Pair with an herbaceous white wine, like sauvignon blanc or Italian vermentino.
Serves 6 (makes 12)
1 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts
1 small clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus more for brushing
2 (4-ounce) balls burrata cheese, drained
3 large pears
Combine the mint, hazelnuts, garlic, and salt in a food processor and process to a coarse paste. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil to make a loose sauce. Add the lemon juice and process to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning. (The pesto will keep in the refrigerator with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly against the surface to prevent browning for up to 3 days.)
Just before serving, cut the pears lengthwise into four 1/4-inch-thick planks, reserving the bulbous edges for another use. Use a paring knife to cut out the core from the middle slices. Brush the planks on both sides with lemon juice to prevent browning. Tear each burrata ball into 6 chunks and place a piece on each pear. Spoon the pesto on top, and serve immediately.
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Photography: George Barberis (@georgebarberis)
Recipe and Styling: Andrea Slonecker (@andreaslonecker)