Enjoy this Burrata Caprese salad – a creamy twist on the classic tomato salad. This Burrata salad combines fresh heirloom tomato with creamy burrata cheese (in place of the traditional Mozzarella) and basil. It is fresh, creamy, and packed with flavor and nutrients!
I love simple salads. In Lebanon and Middle-Eastern cuisine in general, there are several simple appetizer-style salads made up of just a few key ingredients – including traditional tabbouleh and this creamy cucumber yogurt salad (Kh’yar bi laban). Here is a slight twist on the classic Caprese salad, subbing Burrata cheese with its soft, gooey center to make a rich and creamy Burrata Caprese Salad.
Best of all, this simple, fresh heirloom tomato salad is easy to prepare in just minutes – slice up a few ingredients, combine them, and serve! Easy Peasy!
What Is Caprese Salad?
Caprese salad is a type of simple Italian tomato salad with basil and mozzarella – which is then seasoned with salt and olive oil.
The mozzarella tomato & basil salad combination is usually served as an appetizer (‘Antipasto”). There are several ways of arranging the ingredients across a plate for aesthetically pleasing results – stacks, overlaying layers, a spiral, etc.
There are several known ingredient swaps that are often used when preparing Caprese salad, including the use of balsamic vinegar, pesto, or an Italian herb dressing in place of the olive oil. The basil is also sometimes substituted with other greenery such as rocket (arugula) or lettuce.
I’ve substituted the mozzarella entirely in place of its sister cheese, burrata, for this particular burrata Caprese. I’ve also made this an heirloom tomato salad – using beautiful and flavorful heirloom tomatoes.
What Is Burrata? (+ Burrata v. Mozzarella)
You may be forgiven for thinking that burrata cheese and mozzarella are the same at first glance. It’s only when cutting into them that you’ll start to see the differences.
Burrata is a type of Italian cheese made from cow’s milk (and occasionally buffalo milk), rennet, and cream. Interestingly, it is actually a combination of a mozzarella shell with a softer, creamy center. This is done by forming a pouch with the stretchy, warm mozzarella and filling it with leftover scraps of mozzarella and cream before closing it up and allowing it to set.
The result is that, when comparing mozzarella to burrata, you’ll find the latter is richer, creamier, and ‘looser’ with a center more likened to the texture of ricotta cheese.
If you’re a foodie, you’ve probably even seen Burrata cutting videos all over social media, cutting into the firm shell only for the soft, gooey, cheesy center to spill out from the middle.
For this burrata salad, use whatever burrata you can source, but avoid any that are stuffed with a different type of cheese (as some are in the US).
The Burrata Caprese Ingredients
- Tomatoes – I’ve used a ripe heirloom tomato for their (in my opinion) superior flavor. However, smaller salad tomatoes and cherry/plum tomatoes could also be used. You can also mix up tomatoes for a range of colors.
- Cheese – I’ve used burrata cheese for this burrata Caprese. If you’re unable to source burrata, then Mozzarella is the closest substitute, though you’ll miss out on the wonderful textural change associated with burrata.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – alternatively, you could make up a quick pesto dressing by combining pesto with additional olive oil, use an Italian dressing (with Italian Herbs), or use balsamic vinegar (or use these quick and fun Balsamic Pearls).
- Basil – this is the classic ingredient. However, I’ve experimented with thyme/ lemon thyme too. You could also use arugula (rocket).
- Salt & Pepper
How To Make Caprese Salad With Burrata?
1. Slice the tomatoes. As I’ve used large heirloom tomatoes, I like to cut them into slices (as thin or thick as you’d like). Use a mandoline for even slices.
If you decide to prepare this salad with smaller tomatoes, you can prepare them in different ways. Smaller salad tomatoes can be cut into wedges and Cherry or plum tomatoes can be kept whole or halved.
2. Assemble the burrata Caprese salad. First, lay the tomato slices on the plate how you’d like along with some basil leaves (whole or shredded). Then place the burrata on top, in the middle of the dish.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper, and then allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. This will let the tomato juices and olive oil combine for an even better flavor.
TOP TIP to super creamy Burrata:
The center of the burrata can become a little solid when chilled. To counteract this, allow the burrata to sit out of the fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving. Alternatively, place the cheese in a bowl of very warm water and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before serving. If you don’t, you could slice the cheese similar to mozzarella in a traditional Caprese salad.
How To Serve
Serve this burrata tomato basil salad (Burrata Caprese Salad) with crusty bread, alongside other appetizers, or even alongside other dishes – such as avocado toast, or with pasta salads or bakes. You could even use the ingredients to create a delicious grilled cheese.
No, this tomato burrata salad is actually best served at room temperature. Prepare the salad and allow it to sit with the olive oil/dressing for 10 minutes before serving. That will enable the dressing and juices from the tomato to combine.
Rich, creamy centered burrata is best eaten fresh once cut over this Burrata Caprese salad. I usually aim to have it eaten within a single seating. However, if you have any leftovers, you could store them in an airtight container in the fridge and consume them within the same day. It will be okay to keep for longer, but at that point, it’s past it’s prime.
I wouldn’t recommend freezing the cheese, as it can affect the texture and become watery – this will ruin the texture that makes it so amazing in the first place.
Unlike traditional Caprese salad, it’s best to leave the cheese whole when making this burrata Caprese until you serve it. Not only does this maintain freshness, but it also allows everyone to enjoy the moment you cut into it and have the center spill out over the tomatoes and basil.
I like to cut my burrata in half when serving and then just cut bits off to eat with the sliced tomatoes and basil.
If you enjoyed this burrata tomato basil salad combination, you might love some of these other related recipes and DIYs.
If you try this Heirloom Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad (Burrata Salad) recipe, then let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments. I’d also really appreciate a recipe rating and would love to see your recreations – just tag @AlphaFoodie.
Heirloom Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad (Burrata Salad)
- 2 Heirloom tomatoes or smaller tomatoes, if preferred
- 1 burrata or mozzarella if you can't source burrata
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or a pesto dressing/Italian herb dressing
- 4-5 basil leaves or lemon thyme/arugula (rocket)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Slice the tomatoes. As I've used large heirloom tomatoes, I like to cut them into slices (as thin or thick as you'd like). Use a mandoline for even slices.If you decide to prepare this salad with smaller tomatoes, you can prepare them in different ways. Smaller salad tomatoes can be cut into wedges. Cherry or plum tomatoes can be kept whole or halved.
- Assemble the burrata Caprese salad. Lay the tomato slices on the plate how you'd like along with some basil leaves (whole or shredded). Then place the burrata on top, in the middle of the dish.
- Drizzle with olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper, and then allow to sit for 5-10 minutes (read notes about resting burrata). This will let the tomato juices and olive oil combine for an even better flavor.
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Thank you so much, Rob!