Hannah Palmer Egan
Burrata and baguette
By the time I moved away from New York City in summer 2014, I'd eaten more burrata than I'd ever wanted to eat. As with all buzzy ingredients, it felt like some chef discovered the cream-filled, milky mozzarella one day, told all his friends, and then they all put it on their menus the following day. The cheese was everywhere. And suddenly, in typical food-writer fashion, I was over it. Seeing it on a menu elicited an immediate eye-roll, which I followed up with lingering scorn for the rest of the menu.
Judgy? Of course. Ugly? Definitely. Then I returned to Vermont and haven't noticed burrata on a menu since. But yesterday I noticed little pint-size tubs of the stuff — from Bennington's Maplebrook Farm Cheese
— at City Market/Onion River Co-op in Burlington. A funny thing happened: I felt an unfamiliar affection for the stuff, then bought a pint and brought it home, my mind swirling with ideas of how I'd dress it up and slap it on toast.
Now. There is something tantalizing about the combination of dairy and citrus — it's not supposed to work (add lemon to milk and you'll have nasty, stringy curdles in no time flat), but when it does, it's this gorgeous, beautiful thing. So, this morning, breakfast was a small globe of burrata with just a squeeze of blood orange and herb-scented bergamot orange
, gifted to me by a new friend. A splash of buttermilk from Mountain Home Farm
provided common ground between citrus and dairy, while just a touch of tarragon and buttered maple-ginger added barely there layers of cool licorice, warm spice, herbs and sweet crackle.
If it sounds complicated, it isn't. Fifteen minutes to make, and the hardest part is getting to the store to buy the cheese.
Buttermilk-Citrus Burrata With Tarragon and Ginger
Hannah Palmer Egan
Serves two, with bread
- 1 teaspoon each: butter, fresh ginger, maple syrup, demerara sugar
- Sea salt
- 4 ounces burrata
- 1 blood orange
- 1 lemon
- 2-3 tablespoons buttermilk
- Fresh tarragon
- Heat a thin pat of butter in a small skillet over medium-low flame. Grate in not more than one teaspoon of fresh ginger. After a couple minutes, add a splash of maple and stir continuously until the ginger browns but does not burn, about 2 minutes. The ginger will probably clump together in a glob and that's OK. Remove from heat, place on a paper bag to cool, sprinkle with a just a little demerara. When it's cool (and crisp) chop into fine bits.
- Place the burrata in a small, shallow bowl and spritz with a generous pinch (less than 1/4 teaspoon) of sea salt.
- Halve the orange and quarter the lemon. Juice half of the orange and one quarter of the lemon over the cheese, keeping the seeds out. Pour a splash (a couple tablespoons should do it) of buttermilk over the burrata. Chop tarragon and scatter on top, sprinkle with the ginger crumbles and serve straight away, with toast or crusty bread.