So simple and easy, except for the fact that the very clear winner of burrata brands can only be found at Bristol Farms, an upscale and even pricier store than the ones we normally go to. (For Rachel-Zoe watchers, it's the grocery store where she goes to buy the passover turkey with her assistant and Roger. (Roger is wearing his sunglasses the whole time and not really digging it.)) So it’s a little bit of a hassle and it's kind of expensive, but this burrata is so much better than the ones found elsewhere in Los Angeles that we deal with it, smiling even, as we know what’s in store for us later.
So, when I found this recipe in Outstanding in the Field—my newest favorite cookbook—and it mentioned that the best burrata was this certain kind by this third-generation cheese maker, Vito Girardi, and that it was made in West Los Angeles, I started to freak out a bit. Was there a better burrata out there and right under my nose? (Matt and I live in what could be considered West L.A.) I Googled Vito immediately and found this LA Times article only to very-satisfyingly confirm that the burrata Matt and I have come to know and love is that very burrata by Vito Girardi. Check it out, friends. The best burrata ever. (Thanks, Sean and Sara for introducing us. It was love at first taste.)
When Matt saw what I was up to, he wasn't as curious and in fact, more like: “What the ef is mâche and why are you ruining my favorite food with it?”
Outstanding in the Field's version:
Also, thanks to NPR, I know it's pronounced mahsh, which gives me a Halloween costume idea: Monster Mâche. Thoughts?
It was a really lovely salad and one I would definitely make again. The tartness of the nectarines complemented the sweet, creamy mellowness of the burrata, and the toasted hazelnuts added to the overall indulgence. Matt, on the other hand, doesn't care for lovely when it comes to salad. He wanted a do-over and definitely made fun of what he called mache's valiant attempt at marketing itself as the ultimate salad experience. Have I mentioned Matt's garlic bread before? It's hard for lettuce and fruit to compete with that much garlic and butter.
So that's all for this show, folks. Tune in next week when we tackle either another Kenny Shopsin original or Thomas Keller's brownies or something else entirely!
Recipe via Outstanding in the Field
1/4 cup shelled hazelnuts
2 ripe nectarines
3 to 4 ounces mache
8 ounces burrata cheese at room temperature
kosher salt and freshly gorund black pepper
2 tbsps olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Spread the hazelntus on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until they are fragrant and their skins loosen, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the hazelnuts to a plate and let cool slightly. Rub the hazelnuts in a folded kitchen towel to release their skins. Coarsely chop the nuts and set aside.
Cut the nectarines in half and remove the pits. Slice the fruits into thin wedges. Wash the mache in a sink filled with cold water. Carefully remove any dirt or sand stuck between the leaves and discard any root ends. Dry the mache in a salad spinner.
Cut the burrata into 1/4-inch thick slices; because it is very soft, it might be easier to slice with a serrated knife. Arrange the cheese on 6 chilled salad plates. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
In a medium bowl, toss together the mache and the nectarines with the remaining olive oil. Season with salt. Arrange on top of the burrata. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve.