piedmont salad: summer peach & heirloom tomatoes with burrata

i wish i could take credit for this delicious summer salad-truth is, i was lucky enough to visit my aunt and uncle again in (the rather chilly for the season) piedmont, california. we arrived just before dinner, and after a nice cocktail we were served this lovely salad as an appetizer-it was incredibly tasty, refreshing, and satisfying. it requires seasonal ripe (preferably organic) peaches or nectarines, ripe heirloom tomatoes, and fresh burrata (these were from italy). there is no oil necessary…just a drizzle of delicious saba, which is a “syrup” made from the same grapes as balsamic vinegar without being aged or fermented. the juice of local trebiano and lambrusco grapes gets reduced over a slow fire to caramelize the grape’s natural sugars and create this delicious syrup. if you can’t find saba, you can substitute it with reduced balsamic vinegar: {in a saucepan bring about four times as much balsamic vinegar as you’ll need to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat and simmer carefully until the vinegar is “reduced” and syrup-like}.
for 4-6 servings:
  • 2 ripe organic peaches or nectarines, thinly sliced
  • 2 ripe heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 2-3 small fresh burrata* mozzarella cheese-1/2 per plate
  • 4-6 teaspoons of saba or reduced balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • a few sprigs of chopped flat leaf parsley (or chervil, or chives)
from wikipedia: burrata is a fresh italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream. the outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture.  it is usually served fresh, at room temperature-the name “burrata” means “buttered” in italian.

making this salad is as simple as this: assemble the ingredients on each plate with the burrata at the very top, drizzle with saba, season with a touch of sea salt, and finish with a sprinkling of chopped parsley. enjoy with toasted crusty bread. yum.

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