Insalata di burrata

Oh, burrata, where have you been all my life?

This little parcel of extremely fresh mozzarella filled with a creamy center is usually served with ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs, pesto or as I did last night, over a salad. Remember to take it out of the refrigerator a good hour before serving at least for it is at room temperature that it is best appreciated.

For this salad, you need a sturdy lettuce to hold up to the heat. Frisée is definitely my first choice here and I had to go all the way to Montreal to get it. Can you believe that I cannot find frisée anywhere in Ottawa no matter what time of year it is? At the market yesterday, this one merchant had six different varieties of frisée! If you live in Ottawa and you know where I can get that rare little treasure, please tell me where to go.

Replace the burrata with a poached egg for a different but equally interesting salad. Serve it with crusty bread on the side.

Addendum: I guess I needed to bitch about not finding frisée in Ottawa to find some. The nice woman at Herb and Spice on Wellington street told me they pretty much carry it year-round. That is where I will shopping for my fruits and vegetables from now on.

For the salad:

3 to 4 cups frisée
fresh burrata, at room temperature
2 slices thick bacon, cut into lardons
2 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
parmesan cheese shavings
fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

1. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy and turn the heat off.  Transfer to paper towels to drain while you prepare the salad.
2. Discard all but one tablespoon of bacon fat. Make your vinaigrette in the warm skillet.
3. Add the olive oil, mustard, vinegars and mix well with a wooden spoon or a whisk.
4. Put the lettuce leaves in the skillet and coat them well with the vinaigrette using tongs or two wooden spoons.
5. Return the bacon to the skillet and mix well. Season with fleur de sel and pepper.
6. Serve on individual plates, add parmesan shavings and top with a chunk of burrata. Drizzle olive oil over the burrata and season it with fleur de sel and pepper. Enjoy!

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