Recipe of the week
Burrata, mozzarella’s creamy-centered cousin, “really needs no adornment,” said David Tanis in The New York Times. Bought fresh and eaten within a day or two, the soft Italian cheese is marvelous served just with bread and perhaps a drizzle of olive oil. But it can also be the highlight of festive seasonal salads, like this one, made with fennel and springy green fava beans.
Burrata with fava beans, fennel, and celery
3 lbs fresh fava beans in the pod • 1 small shallot, finely diced • 3 tbsp lemon juice • salt and pepper • ¼ cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil • ½ cup thinly sliced celery (tender inner stalks) • ⅔ cup thinly sliced fennel • 8 oz burrata • a handful of small arugula leaves • mint or basil, for garnish
• Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Shuck fava beans from pods. Plunge beans into boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and cool in the ice water to stop the cooking. Blot beans on a kitchen towel.
• With a thumbnail or paring knife, pierce the gray skin of each bean and squeeze to pop the bean free. (Beans can be peeled a day in advance and refrigerated, then returned to room temperature.)
• In a small bowl, cover diced shallot with lemon juice. Add a good pinch of salt. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk in oil. Place beans, celery, and fennel in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add dressing; toss well. Place burrata in the center of a platter. Arrange arugula leaves at platter edges. Spoon fava mixture and dressing over and around burrata. Garnish with mint or torn basil. Serves 4.