After sitting down recently in the dining room of Angeli Caffé for a chat about this and that, Evan Kleiman was kind enough to give us the recipe for this peach-tomato salad with burrata, which is currently on the menu at her restaurant. The dish is really about as seasonal as you can get right now, with the market stalls loaded with stone fruit, heirloom tomatoes, and small fragrant mountains of basil. It's a strikingly beautiful salad too: add a cruet of olive oil and a bottle of wine and you've got a still life. Well, for the few minutes before you eat it, at which point you have something more like post-Pollock artwork on a plate. A archipelago of basil oil. A trail of tomato vinaigrette. An overturned fork instead of the remnants of an unfiltered cigarette.
As for why this salad, Kleiman says: “We've always played around with tomatoes once they start to enter the markets during the long summer season. Tomatoes with cucumbers, tomatoes with beets; somehow tomatoes with peaches seemed like a natural next step. Like tomatoes, peaches balance sweetness with acid, but in the opposite direction so they seemed perfectly paired. And burrata, well it's rich creamy goodness goes with just about any fruit or vegetable you put with it.” Turn the page for Kleiman's recipe, as well as a pictorial guide for the dish.
Peach-tomato salad with burrata
From: Evan Kleiman of Angeli Caffe, who says that the salad works best when both the peaches and tomatoes are at their peak. Look for full-flavored fruit, no low-acid varieties. Burrata, a fresh Italian cheese, can be found at good cheese stores and supermarkets, including Bay Cities Italian Deli.
Makes: 2 large salad or 3 small salads
1/2 small shallot, minced
1 small very ripe tomato
1 Tablespoon champagne vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Throw the tomato vinaigrette ingredients together in a blender and mix until smooth and emulsified. Adjust seasoning.
5 large basil leaves, washed and dried
1/3 cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1. Put basil oil ingredients together in blender and puree. Pass through sieve to reduce foam and remove fine basil particles.
Salad and assembly:
1 peach, cut into thin wedges
1 small ripe yet still firm tomato, cut into thin wedges
1 ball of burrata
1. Toss the peach and tomato slices with the tomato vinaigrette, adding the amount of vinaigrette to your taste.
2. Arrange the peach and tomato salad in the center of a plate. Place burrata wedges around the salad and drizzle basil oil where you will. Accompany with good bread.