Kitchen Collaboration - Tomatoes & Basil with Burrata

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jennifer & Lorenzo
It's tomato season at last!  I can't think of any other time of the year when I want to eat fresh, ripened tomatoes, by the pint, everyday...  

This past weekend I spent an afternoon with my lovely friends, Jennifer and Lorenzo doing just that.  I wanted a catch up with my friends and I had a hunch they would be up for sharing a fresh tomato and basil salad with burrata (so simple, so Italian).   

Jennifer brings such grace and elegance to any meal and to this salad she shared freshly pressed olive oil from her in-laws estate in Tuscany, Podere Ciona.  Between these two you can be sure that you will be taken care of when it comes to food, wine and fun.   Even the most simple of lunches turns into a feast of flavors, wine pairings and good laughs.  


Jennifer works as an events coordinator and sales account manager at the heralded Sherry-Lehmann wine and spirits shop on Park Avenue in NYC.  Lorenzo is a manager and winemaker at Podere Ciona estate and vineyard.  (If you find yourself in Italy or if you want to take a trip to Tuscany I highly recommend staying at Podere Ciona.  It's absolutely breath taking and you will be well taken care of by Franca and Franco, Lorenzo's wonderful parents.)

THE BENEFITS OF EATING TOMATOES:
  • Tomatoes really excel in preventing heart disease.  They contain important nutrients, lypocene, niacin, folate and B6 which have been associated with the reduction of heart disease.
  • Lypocene is what gives tomatoes their color.  It has the ability to protect against cancer and promote prostrate health.
  • Eating tomatoes with a bit of fat, like olive oil helps lypocene to be better absorbed by the body.
  • Tomatoes are a great source of fiber and contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium and potassium. Great for keeping free radicals out of your blood.
  • A large serving of tomatoes delivers a small amount of calories and fat.  According to the USDA a cup of sliced tomatoes has just 30 calories and less than .05 grams of fat.
Jennifer at work in the kitchen
SIMPLE TOMATO SALAD WITH BURRATA                                               Serves 4
This tomato salad is one of my summer indulgences. A treat because it's not often that I eat Burrata cheese which takes it to the next level.  Burrata looks like a ball of fresh mozzarella on the outside but on the inside it's creamy.  When Burrata is sliced open, thick cream flows out and it has a rich, buttery, fresh milk flavor similar to mozzarella.


Ingredients:
4 medium sized heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup of fresh basil, minced
1 - 8 ounce ball of fresh Burrata
4 Tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Directions:
1.  Arrange sliced tomatoes and Burrata on a platter and sprinkle minced basil evenly.
2.  Add the olive oil over top the tomatoes and cheese then sprinkle the salt and pepper over everything.
3.  Dig in!
Note: You can buy a nice ball of Burrata at Trader Joe's for $4.99
A delicious Rosé from Podere Ciona

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