Cooking, Salad
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(Super Quick & Fabulous) Recipe: Burrata with Oak Smoked Tomatoes & Basil Oil

Sounds complicated, no? It really isn’t. This is the quickest most delicious dish you will make, and like all good things in food, it’s all down to the sourcing.

Burrata is a magical cheese from Puglia in Italy. It consists of an outer mozzarella coat filled with mozzarella bits and fresh cream. Shaped still warm, it is tied at the top, traditionally wrapped in leaves as an indicator of whether the cheese was good to eat. If the leaves were brown, it was off. Today it is more common to wrap it in plastic.

I still remember my surprise and delight the first time I cut into burrata and watched the cream sigh out. It is utterly decadent. It is also available truffled, which takes it to another level.

Burrata must be fresh. I sourced this one from a new deli in London – Melograno Deli – and, disclosure, it is owned by my friend and fellow blogger Dino. Dino has an incredible knowledge of food and a finely tuned palate, so I was very excited to hear it was opening.

I trekked over yesterday and was delighted with what I saw. I bought a lot to take home too so anticipate some fine cooking adventures. My favourite Pastificio dei Campi pasta is stocked there, SAP n’duja in the jar (remember my n’duja pig?), wonderful carefully selected charcuterie (easily some of, if not the best I have had in London), Square Mile Coffee, terrific parmesan and other cheeses, retaurant quality food to take home (from one of Dinos favourites – I can’t recall the name), Italian craft beers, a broad wine selection for all price ranges and much more. It’s a deli paradise.

But the burrata, what did I do with it? What exactly is in it? Well, another one of my favourite things is Isle of Wight Oak Smoked Tomatoes. I am going to the Isle of Wight tomorrow and it got me thinking about them and it and I fancied a pre Isle of Wight, Isle of Wight supper, if you know what I mean.

I get tomatoes from the Isle of Wight farm most weeks at the market, they are full flavoured and the antithesis of those awful Dutch waterbombs. The oak smoked are a whole other level, an intense tomato explosion. I came across them a few years ago and thought – TOMATO BACON! – there is that same umami whack and intensity with a sweet rich tomato base, I always have some in my fridge and was grateful when I spotted them lurking at the back to put with my burrata.

I decided that I would do a twist on a traditional caprese with the tomatoes inside in the burrata, just tucked in gently, paddling in the cream. I also made a quick basil oil to dress it with.

It was so quick, and really delicious. I think a dream starter to share for friends or an indulgent lunch for one.

Notes on the recipe: it is best to make the basil oil in advance but if you haven’t done this, just stir the basil into the oil and serve. It won’t be as full flavoured but will still be good. If you are making it, make more and keep it in your fridge for a week or so.

If you can’t get the tomatoes, subtitute with good sun dried, oven dried or semi dried tomatoes.

Recipe: Burrata with Oak Smoked Tomatoes & Basil Oil

Serves 2

1 x burrata (freshness is absolutely key)
Approx 12 oak smoked tomato halves

Basil Oil

100ml extra virgin olive oil
handful of basil, shredded

Make the basil oil by adding the shredded basil to the oil. Allow to infuse overnight in the fridge if possible.

Gently unwrap the burrata and cut the top off – this is a chefs treat in my house and I devour it there and then.

Gently tease open the top and place the tomatoes inside, taking care not to squeeze the cream out.

Drizzle with basil oil, season and you’re ready to serve.



Filed under: Cooking, Salad


Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.


  1. I ADORE burrata – the creamiest, silkiest best mozzarella in the world! If you can’t get burrata, you can also make yourself with a little bit of cream slicked in the centre. Those tomatoes sound utterly incredible…was you might have included a recipe for the oak-smoking, but if I’m honest with myself I’d probably never get round to it so glad to have the Isle of White market tip-off instead :-)

  2. This sounds like something you eat alone, in a darkened room, some gentle music on, some warm bread to use as a mopper upper…. Sigh. I want!

  3. Rouxx says

    I love Burrata! Tried it for the first time the other night at The Providores ( with fresh yellow, red and green tomatoes, but oak-smoked sounds delicious and you can get it at John Lewis Foodhall now. Also, found some basil oil from Nudo there the other day which I can’t stop using. Would cut out a lot of work – you can get it from their site too I think (

      • Rouxx says

        It’s great isn’t it?! Those ricotta fritters…! Re: basil oil – maybe I’m just a bit lazy. Since bought the whole range so I don’t have to chop garlic or zest lemons ever again!

  4. I love burrata although I hardly ever eat it as it’s full of calories as well as flavour.. but would love to try this combo – where would you get the smoked tomatoes in central london?

  5. The oak smoked tomatoes are one of my favourite ingredients ever. I will be serving them at Bestival on the Isle of Wight.
    Burratta is also a favourite…they say Laverstoke farm is making it now.

    • Rouxx says

      I’d so love to support Laverstoke, but the quality just isn’t there. Hope they will improve as they grow, but for now I’m sticking to the imported stuff.

  6. This sounds just gorgeous and takes me back to the days when I lived opposite one of Rome’s most famous cheese shops and would buy burrata if I was going to friends for dinner, for a starter as you describe. The oak smoked tomatoes sound perfect with it though, perfect combination. There’s a Laverstoke farm shop near me so will see if they are making it as one of the other comments hints!

Over to you! Your comments - I would love to hear from you :)