Somewhere, over the rainbow…
I’ve been dreaming about burrata since I attended Anna Jones’ supper club last month with friend The Little Plantation. It was only the second time in my life (that I remember) that I’ve had the fortune to eat it; the first being at Ottolenghi on my 31st birthday. On this sweet occasion it was served amongst grilled courgette and squash and drizzled in a lovage oil as a sharing starter plate. Every mouthful of the dish was beautiful.
Burrata for the unknown, is a specialist cheese from Puglia in Italy. A bit like mozzarella but filled with soft milk curds and cream. Yes, I repeat filled with cream. So yeah, understandably it’s not something I get to eat very often. It’s also really quite expensive in comparison with your bog standard mozzarella, especially when purchased from a specialist retailer in London’s Borough Market (I was passing there last week and couldn’t resist). Totally worth every penny for those melt in the mouth curds of beautiful rich creamy stretchy cheese.
So what to create with this luscious ball of lusciousness? Rather than copy Anna’s gorgeous recipe with courgettes I decided to create something a bit different. I thought about fennel, but since I had some rainbow carrots in my veg bag last week, I decided to go carrot mad and pair them with plain old orange carrots . To go one step further I also decided to seek out carrots with their tops intact and then use them along with basil in a salsa verde to dress the dish. I’ve had a burning desire to use the whole carrot in a recipe on Natural Kitchen Adventures (it’s on my logo!) for a while now, and this was a perfect opportunity not to be missed.
Whilst I already had the rainbow carrots I had a bit of a mission to find some bog standard orange ones with the tops still attached. Madness! However when I did finally find some organic ones in a local supermarket It appeared that most of them had damaged tops. Fine for chucking in a recipe, not so fine for taking some blogworthy photos. So, I dug deep and rooted around for the best ones. I’m sorry for all the bad puns today.
The salsa verde recipe is based on my previously blogged one, and can be used in very many different ways. This recipe will create leftovers which you can experiment with. If fish isn’t your thing, leave out the anchovies and add some extra capers and salt to taste.
Serve this as a sharing platter for your bestest friends.
- 6 carrots, a range of colours, split in half down the middle
- olive oil
- 1 ball of burrata (approx. 100g)
- lemon zest
- 30g carrot tops (roughly from one bunch)
- 30g basil
- 50g tin of anchovies, drained (reserve the oil)
- 1 lemon, juiced (reserve zest for garnish)
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 90mls olive oil (use the reserved oil plus top up to make up to 90mls)
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 180C, toss the split carrots in a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Lay flat on a baking tray and roast for 40 minutes. You might like to check half way and turn them over and check they are sufficiently browning all over.
- Meanwhile make your salsa. Place the carrot tops, basil, anchovies, lemon juice, capers and garlic into a food processor and blitz till broken down. While the motor is running pour in the olive oil, and blend till a thick paste forms. Add a twist of black pepper and salt to taste. If your anchovies are salty you may not need any salt, its really important to taste the salsa before you stick too much salt in.
- When the carrots are softened and just starting to caramelize, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before adding them to a large serving plate with torn pieces of burrata, dollops of carrot top salsa verde, some cracked black pepper and lemon zest.
What would you do with carrot tops? Fuss Free Flavour’s Helen whizzed them into a pesto.
I have entered this into Feeding Boys’ monthly Simple and in Season round up!4