Here’s something we’d never have thought of, and we’re grateful to the folks at GQ for sending us the recipe.
It’s a showstopping appetizer or cheese course that takes literally one minute to cook: red grapes with burrata cheese. Developed by chef Jeff Mahin, the dish has become a staple at his Stella Barra Pizzerias in L.A. and Chicago.
“While using gas or charcoal to make it is fine, I prefer a screaming-hot wood grill,” says Jeff. “Just remember that when cooking with wood, you want to cook over glowing ruby red coals rather than the flame itself. Cooking directly over an open flame can impart a sour and soot-like flavor, which is never a good thing.”
Note that since grapes will invariably fall off the bunch while you’re grilling them, a vegetable grilling basket will come in handy.
Ingredients For 4 Servings
1. WASH the bunch of grapes carefully under cold water and allow them to dry.
2. WHISK together in a bowl: olive oil, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, chile flakes, garlic cloves. Add grapes and toss until coated. Let sit for at least 10 minutes.
3. PLACE a bunch of grapes onto the center of a hot grill, using tongs. Grill for 30 seconds. Turn. Grill for another 30 seconds.
 So simple, and unbelievably delicious. Photo courtesy GQ Magazine.
4. RETURN grapes to marinade to cool for at least 10 minutes, coating them periodically.
5. CUT grapes into small bunches. Plate. Drizzle on 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar. Serve with grilled bread and a half ball of burrata (or fresh mozzarella) seasoned with sea salt and olive oil.
Find more delicious recipes in the GQ Grill Guide.
Somewhere around 1920 in the town of Andria in the Puglia region of southern Italy, a member of the Bianchini family figured out how to repurpose the curds from mozzarella making. Burrata was born, a ball of mozzarella filled with creamy, ricotta-like curds. Cut into the ball and the curds ooze out: a wonderful marriage of flavors and textures.
Their burrata was premium priced, made in small amounts, and remained the delight of the locals for some thirty years.
In the 1950s, some of the local cheese factories began to produce burrata, and more people discovered its charms. Only in recent years, thanks to more economical overnighting of refrigerated products, did we find it in New York City’s finest cheese shops.
It was love at first bite…and enough Americans thought so that burrata is now made domestically. You can find it at Trader Joe’s.
For dessert, here’s a delicious burrata and fresh fruit recipe.
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