Burrata is rather special Italian cheese. It’s shaped like a ball, with an outer covering akin to mozzarella and a creamy cheesy interior. It is now surprisingly easy to find, but if you can’t find it, substitute buffalo mozzarella which also works well.
In summer the obvious pairing for burrata is all manner of tomatoes. Looking for a more autumnal alternative, I was inspired by Ottolenghi’s recipe for Burrata with chargrilled grapes. I liked the sound of sweet roasted grapes with burrata, set off by a tangy dressing. I had a fennel bulb in the fridge, so decided to grill that and throw that in as well. The combination is delicious and makes for a light supper with some grilled sourdough on the side.
Good quality sherry vinegar is a must. If you don’t have that, use a combination of good red wine vinegar and balsamico.
Burrata with Roasted Grapes & Fennel
Decadent burrata paired with roasted grapes finished off with fennel and a fennel-laced dressing. A delicious combination courtesy Ottolenghi.
Dry roast the fennel seeds and then pound coarsely until the seeds are smashed, in a pestle & mortar.
Grate or smash the garlic clove.
In a medium bowl combine the fennel with all the remaining dressing ingredients. Add ½ teaspoon of salt flakes and plenty of black pepper.
Add the washed the dried grapes to the bowl, and using your hands, toss to coat. Set aside to marinate for half an hour (or even longer, especially if you want to prepare the grapes ahead of time).
When ready to cook, slice the fennel thinly (through the base so that the slices stay together).
Put a ridged griddle pan on a high heat and ventilate your kitchen. Once the pan is good and hot, season the pan with olive oil and grill the fennel slices on both sides until cooked but crunchy. Whilst grilling brush a little oil on both sides and season with sea salt flakes and pepper. Once done remove and keep warm.
Skewer six or seven grapes on to each stick, and reserve the marinade – you’ll need it for the dressing.
Now grill the grape skewers on the same grill, in batches for two to three minutes in total, turning them over halfway through. Remove from the heat and keep warm while you griddle the remaining skewers.
To serve, place a handful of salad leaves on each of the six serving plates. Tear each ball of burrata in two and put one half on each plate. Arrange two grape skewers per portion, then spoon a teaspoon and a half of the reserved marinade over each portion. Garnish each plate with a sprig of basil and serve.