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    Meatless Monday – Burrata with Balsamic Carrot Puree, Toasted Hazelnuts, and Arugula

    Burrata is often joined at the hip to the trusty tomato, but the creamy cheese plays well with others too. For this Meatless Monday recipe, we’ll experience a tasty adventure of flavors and textures by pairing the spongy cheese with a silky-smooth, balsamic-kissed carrot puree, crisp and peppery arugula, toasted hazelnuts, and fruity olive oil.

    Burrata with Balsamic Carrot Puree, Toasted Hazelnuts, and Arugula
    Ingredients
    3 large carrots, peeled and cut into medium dice (roughly 2 cups)
    4 cups water
    ¼ cup minced roasted red pepper
    2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
    1 teaspoon honey
    ¼ teaspoon plus 2 pinches salt, divided
    Pinch white pepper
    4 teaspoons really good olive oil, divided
    ¼ cup hazelnuts, toasted
    2 cups loosely packed arugula
    2 large balls burrata or buffalo mozzarella
    Pinch black pepper

    Directions
    Place the diced carrots in a small sauce pot and cover with 4 cups of water. Set the pot over medium-high heat, and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 12 minutes, or until the carrots are fork tender. Remove ½ cup of the cooking liquid and set aside.

    Drain the carrots and place them in a blender with the minced roasted red peppers, balsamic vinegar, honey, ¼ teaspoon salt, and white pepper. Pulse the mixture a few times to break up large carrot pieces then set the blender to a low speed and slowly drizzle in 2 teaspoons olive oil and up to ½ cup of reserved cooking liquid, until the mixture becomes a smooth puree. Increase the blender speed to high for 30 seconds to emulsify the puree. Transfer the puree into a small bowl and set it aside at room temperature.

    Roughly chop the toasted hazelnuts.

    In a medium bowl, toss the arugula with a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil.

    To plate, place ½ cup of the carrot puree in the center of four plates and spread each into a 6-inch-wide circle. Place a small mound of the dressed arugula in the center of the carrot puree then top with half ball of burrata or buffalo mozzarella. Sprinkle the plate with the toasted and chopped hazelnuts then season the burrata halves with a few flakes of salt and black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

    Kerry Stantonhttp://chefkerrystanton.com
    Kerry Stanton is a recipe writer, culinary instructor, and restaurant consultant. She writes for Dirty Water Media and the Boston Herald.“I will not settle for anything less than exceptional food at every meal. This doesn’t mean that I demand excessive extravagance or prized ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner - I just want well-cooked, properly seasoned food, presented beautifully. I think we all deserve this much.”

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