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RECIPE: Spaghetti Caprese With Burrata

Spaghetti Caprese
[1] One-pot Spaghetti Caprese With Burrata (photo © The Baker Chick).

Burrata
[2] Moist and creamy, burrata is a great cheese for fresh-cheese lovers (© Murray’s Cheese).

 

Finally, burrata cheese is being made by enough American producers that many cheese lovers nationwide can buy it locally.

Beyond enjoying it in a Caprese salad or with fruit, The Baker Chick has created this one-pot Spaghetti Caprese Recipe With Burrata.

This one-pot recipe can be on the table in just 30 minutes.

In addition to clicking over to the spaghetti recipe, head to The Baker Chick’s home page and check out all of her wonderful recipes and food photography.
 
 
WHAT IS BURRATA?

Burrata is a “filled” mozzarella, a specialty of the Apulia region of Italy, the “heel of the boot.” The word means “buttery” in Italian.

A hollow ball of buffalo mozzarella (mozzarella di bufala) is filled with panna, cream that contains scraps of mozzarella left over from mozzarella-making.

(The cream seems like very fine-grained ricotta to us.)

Cut into the ball and the cream oozes out. While both buttery and creamy, it is not overly rich; just overly delicious.

For years, the only burrata in the U.S. was imported from Italy to New York and other East Coast cities. Because of its short lifespan, it was too fragile to travel much further.

Burrata imported from Italy is traditionally wrapped in a green leaf, which are the fronds of an Italian plant called asphodel (it’s in the lily family, Liliaceae, which also contains asparagus and the different onion genuses—chives, garlic, leeks and onions, among other foods).

The leaves are an indicator of freshness: As long as the leaves are still fresh and green, the cheese within is still fresh. Dried-out leaves mean a cheese is past its prime.

When it travels from the dairy, the cheese also wrapped in a clear plastic bag to catch the natural liquid that drains from it.

Here’s more about burrata cheese and the history of burrata.

Also check out:

  • The History Of Caprese Salad
  • The History Of Pasta
  •  
    MORE BURRATA RECIPES

  • Burrata & Fruit Dessert
  • Burrata, Plum & Pepita Salad
  • Burrata Serving Suggestions
  • Grilled Grapes & Burrata For A Cheese Course
  •  
    MORE CAPRESE RECIPES

  • Artistic Caprese Salads
  • Caprese Pasta Salad
  • Caprese Sandwich
  • Deconstructed Caprese Salad
  • Goat Cheese Caprese Salad
  • Grilled Cheese Caprese with Balsamic Syrup Drizzle
  • Mango Caprese Salad
  • “Martini” Caprese Salad
  • Mixed Heirloom Caprese Salad
  • Plum Caprese Salad
  • Summer Caprese Salad With Flowers
  • Tofu Caprese Salad
  • Watermelon Caprese Salad
  •   

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Produce Selection Tips ~ How To Pick The Best Fruits & Vegetables

    Nature gives us much fresh produce in the summer, but selecting perfectly ripe fruits and vegetables isn’t always second nature to us.

    There is no uniform rule for choosing the best.

  • Some produce should be stored in the fridge, others not.
  • Sometimes a bit of stem attached is a good sign, sometimes not.
  • And so on.
  •  
    To help, Stop & Shop Produce Merchandising Manager, Steve Stalter, has provided his tips and tricks to ensure that every fruit and vegetable you pick and serve this summer is a winner.
     
     
    BLUEBERRIES

  • Blueberries should have a deep blue color with hints of purple or black. There shouldn’t be any red color, as that indicates they may not be ripe.
  • Turn the carton upside down. If berries are mashed or bleeding juice, find another pint.
  • Try to smell the berries. A sweet smell indicates ripe, sweet berries.
  • Wash any type of berries just before eating. Store leftovers in their original container in the fridge, or in a bowl.
  • Depending on when they were harvested, blueberries can be stored for up to 10 days. But don’t buy more than you plan to eat in a couple of days.
  • If the berries have dried out (are wrinkled), taste one. If the flavor is good, purée them into a sauce, mix the purée into a cocktail, or mix into softened vanilla ice cream (and refreeze).
  •  
     
    CANTALOUPE & HONEYDEW

  • Smell the melon near the small round circular spot on the bottom: It should smell sweet.
  • The stem should no longer be attached. A ripe melon will naturally detach its stem. Any bit of a stem attached means that the melon was harvested too soon.
  • A good melon should feel firm but never rock hard, nor should it ever be soft and squishy.
  • The melon should have a yellowish spot where it was resting, showing that it is ripe.
  • A ripe melon will feel heavier than it looks.
  • When ready to cut and eat, the stem end will be easy to press in, and the melon will smell sweet.
  • A ripe melon can be kept in the fridge.
  •  
     
    CORN

  • The tassel (the corn silk that extends up beyond the end of the husk) will tell you about the freshness of the corn. They should be mustard-colored, not dark brown.
  • The husk should be bright green, not dried out.
  • Leave the husk on to keep the corn hydrated and sweet, until you’re ready to use it.
  • Similarly, don’t peel down the husk to see if the corn “looks good.” The tassel and husk color will tell you that.
  • If you’re not going to cook corn the same day it is purchased, keep it refrigerated.
  •  
     
    PEACHES

  • Peaches should smell sweet and floral.
  • Ripe peaches will be soft to the touch, not hard nor too squishy.
  • Store in a cool, dry place; not in the refrigerator.
  • If the peaches become over-ripe, purée them into a sauce, use the purée in a cocktail, or mix it into softened vanilla ice cream (and refreeze).
  •  
     
    PLUMS

  • A plum should feel heavy and a little firm.
  • Plums will have a deep, even color when ripe.
  • Store plums in the refrigerator and make sure they are not in a sealed bag—they need air.
  • If the plums become over-ripe, follow the tip for peaches.
  •  
     
    TOMATOES

  • Tomatoes don’t have to be perfectly shaped. While they have been bred this way to appeal to supermarket buyers, tomato lovers know that the best-tasting tomatoes are the heirloom breeds, which are typically misshapen.
  • When ripe, the skin of the tomato should be smooth and slightly shiny, free of bruising and dark spots.
  • The tomato should still be slightly firm when ripe, but should yield slightly when pressed with your fingers.
  • Another way to tell if a tomato is ripe is to smell it in the stem area. It will have an earthy, sweet smell when it is ripe, and either a sour smell or no smell if it is not yet ripe.
  • Once picked, tomatoes should be kept at room temperature away from sunlight—and never in the fridge, where the cold air will sap its flavor.
  •  
     
    WATERMELON

  • Find the “field spot” on the bottom. A watermelon will develop a yellow blemish where it rests on the ground. A ripe watermelon will have a rich, yellow-orange field spot.
  • A ripe watermelon should feel heavy for its size.
  • When tapped on the underbelly, should have a hollow sound.
  • Check for webbing. If the melon has web-like brown streaks, it means bees touched the pollinating parts of the flower many times, making it sweeter.
  • Store an uncut watermelon in a cool, dry place for up to four days.
  •  
     
    ZUCCHINI & YELLOW SQUASH (A.K.A. SUMMER SQUASH)

  • Bigger is not always better. Larger zucchini and yellow squash often have less flavor due to more water. Smaller ones are better.
  • Look for a zucchini/yellow squash with a vibrant green or yellow skin.
  • Look for zucchini/yellow squash with a portion of its stem attached. It will likely last longer.
  • Store zucchini/yellow squash in a brown paper bag or with no bag, in the refrigerator for up to one week. Do not use a plastic bag.
  •  
     
    A FINAL NOTE

    Don’t store produce in plastic bags, unless they are ventilated (with holes.

    Plastic bags deprive some varieties of the air they need.

     

    Carton Of Blueberries
    [1] Blueberries. Don’t wash any type of berry until just before you’re ready to eat them (all photos © Good Eggs, a great supplier of fine produce in the San Francisco Bay area).

    Cantaloupe
    [2] Cantaloupe. Don’t buy a cantaloupe, honeydew or other melon that still has some stem attached.

    Fresh Corn With Tassels
    [3] Corn. While supermarkets typically cut off the tassels for visual presentation, a golden tassel indicates freshness.

    Peaches
    [4] Don’t store peaches in the fridge.

    Plums
    [5] As opposed to peaches, plums should be stored in the fridge.

    Organic Heirloom Tomatoes
    [6] Any tomatoes, including these organic heirloom tomatoes, should be kept on the counter—never in the fridge.

    Watermelon Half
    [7] Web-like brown streaks on a watermelon are a good sign of a sweeter melon.

    Zucchini
    [8] Zucchini with some stem attached will last longer.

     
    Non-ventilated plastic bags help to retain moisture, which hastens spoilage.

    Eat lots of summer’s delicious fruits and vegetables.
     
     
    FOOD FUN: GROW POTATOES INDOORS

    All you need is a sunny spot.

    Here’s how to do it.

      

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    PRODUCTS: Ice Cream Favorites For National Ice Cream Month

    Ben & Jerry's Non Dairy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
    [1] Non-dairy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s (photo © Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog).

    Haagen-Dazs Non Dairy
    [2] Häagen-Dazs makes non-dairy frozen treats in both cartons and bars (photo © Häagen-Dazs | Facebook),

    Bubbies Ice Cream Bites
    [3] Bubbie’s uses conventional dairy ice cream in its Ice Cream Bites (photos #3 and #4 © Bubbies’s Ice Cream.

    Bubbies Ice Cream Bites
    [4] Bubbies ice cream bites; from top left, clockwise, Birthday Cake, Strawberry, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter.

     

    There’s always something new to present for National Ice Cream Month. Here, three recommendations for both dairy and non-dairy ice cream.
     
     
    NON-DAIRY ICE CREAM FROM THE ICE CREAM KINGS

    Lactose intolerant? Vegan? Green? Kosher?

    Two big-name ice cream producers have created non-dairy lines, and have recently added new flavors to them.

    Aside from tasting like the brands’ dairy lines, there’s more to love about these non-dairy treats: They’re environmentally friendly (green).

  • Cows (plus beef cattle and other animals) contribute a significant amount of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
  • By creating ice cream in non-dairy versions, people who prefer to eat plant-based foods can indulge without guilt.
  • The corporate goal is for Ben & Jerry’s to reduce its carbon emissions by a whopping 80% by the year 2050, despite continuing to grow the business and put even greater demands on their factories.
  • One way to help accomplish this is with dairy-free desserts.
  •  
    So try them, even if you’re not in one of the groups of people who must eat non-dairy.

    You may decide to switch, to make your own contribution to reducing climate change.

    A technicality: While we may call these products “non-dairy ice cream,” per the USDA standards they are “non-dairy frozen desserts.”

    To be called “ice cream,” a product has to contain cream.
     
     
    Ben & Jerry’s now has 12 non-dairy ice cream flavors in pints (photo #1).

    Instead of dairy milk, the frozen treats are made with almond milk and are certified 100% vegan.

    Four of Ben & Jerry’s Top 10 flavors are recreated for the non-dairy line.

    And surprise: No one will know they’re eating non-dairy ice cream unless they see the pint.

    Ben & Jerry’s recipe developers have done a great job in creating a line that both dairy-free eaters and omnivores can embrace.

    For more information visit BenAndJerrys.com.
     
     
    Häagen-Dazs now has seven non-dairy flavors in cartons (not pints, because they’re only 14 ounces), and three types of chocolate-coated bars on a stick (photo #2).

    The products—which, like Ben & Jerry’s, are as delicious as the convention line—use no dairy milks. They are made from a blend of corn syrup, coconut oil and sunflower oil, plus sugar, flavorings and inclusions (cherries, chocolate chips, etc.; the coconut flavors also have coconut cream).

    The line is certified kosher-dairy* by OU.

    Learn more about the line at HaagenDazsUS.com.
     
    BUBBIES

    Last year we wrote about Bubbies Mochi, ice cream bites wrapped in Japanese rice dough.

    Bubbies has ported the idea to cookie-dough-covered ice cream bites, which are equally delightful (photo #3).

    The four flavors include:

  • Peanut Butter Brownie Batter, brownie batter dough covering peanut butter ice cream
  • Strawberry Sugar Cookie Dough, sugar cookie dough covering strawberry ice cream
  • Vanilla Birthday Cake Cookie Dough, birthday cake cookie dough covering vanilla ice cream
  • Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, chocolate chip cookie dough covering chocolate chip ice cream
  •  
    The line is gluten free, kosher (KSA Dairy), Non GMO and rBST-free.

    Visit BubbiesIceCream.com to learn more.
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF ICE CREAM

    ________________

    *It’s made with equipment that also processes dairy products.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Chowder Topped With Fish Or Seafood

    If you’ve had clam chowder or fish chowder, you know that the seafood is mixed into the soup with the other ingredients.

    In this recipe, created by recipe developer and blogger Sylvia Fountaine for the Idaho Potato Commission, the seafood is placed atop the chowder for a delicious dinner.

    As you can see in the photos, the chowder here is more dense than soupy. It’s like having potatoes and vegetables with your fish, scallops or shrimp, rather than a bowl of soup.
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF CHOWDER

    Chowder was brought to New England in the 17th century by Breton* fishermen, fishing the waters of Newfoundland, a large island off the east coast of what is now Canada.

    They tossed some of the day’s catch into a large pot or cauldron, called a chaudière, from the Latin caldaria. The word is pronounced show-D’YAIR, which became chowder in English.

    Chowders were a staple in fishing villages along the coast of France and in the Cornwall region of southwestern England.

    On the ships that came to the New World, that soup was originally thickened with crushed ship’s biscuits. Now flour is used, but there’s a tradition of serving oyster crackers or saltines on the side.

    While we now make corn chowder, chicken-corn chowder and variations, the first chowders in New England were the Breton fish chowders.

    In addition to fish, there was a large supply of clams along the northern Atlantic coast. Thus, the now-iconic New England clam chowder was born (or merely clam chowder, as the residents then called it—here’s a recipe).
     
     
    RECIPE: CORN & IDAHO® POTATO CHOWDER WITH WHITEFISH & BASIL

    This recipe was created for with whitefish (cod, haddock, halibut, sea bass), which is used in a traditional New England fish chowder.

    But you can go upscale and substitute salmon, scallops, shrimp, even lobster. You can also top the chowder with an assortment.

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup white or yellow onion, diced (or 1 large shallot)
  •  

    Corn Chowder With Fish

    [1] Topping this chowder with fish turns it into a hearty meal (both photos © Idaho Potato Commission).

    Corn Chowder With Fish
    [2] A close-up in the pan.

  • 8 ounces Idaho® potatoes (red, yellow, yukon or any variety with thin skin), diced no bigger than ½ inch thick†
  • 1 ear of fresh corn, kernels sliced off
  • 1 cup stock: chicken, corn, fish, vegetable; water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces halibut or other seafood
  • Optional: 2-3 tablespoons half-and-half or soy milk
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HEAT the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

    2. ADD the potatoes and corn. Sauté 2-3 minutes, then add the water or stock, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. While the potatoes are simmering…

    3. HEAT the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in another skillet. Season the fish with salt and pepper and sear each side over medium high heat. Lower the heat and cook to your desired doneness. Set aside. When the potatoes are fork tender…

    4. UNCOVER and cook off a little of the liquid. If desired, add a few tablespoons half and half or soy milk for a bit of extra creaminess; cook for a minute or two to thicken.

    5. STIR in half of the basil. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Right before serving…

    6. STIR in the remaining basil, saving a bit for garnish (editor’s note: julienne it for the garnish). Dish up the sweet corn chowder and top with the seared fish and basil.

    ________________

    *The smaller the dice, the faster the potatoes will cook.

    †Breton refers to residents of Brittany, a region in northwest France.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Summer Salads

    Summer Salad With Nasturtium Leaves
    [1] A salad of farmers market ingredients, from mache to nasturtium leaves (both photos © Good Eggs).

    Summer Salad Yogurt Dressing
    [2] Even if you think you don’t like tomatoes, try a lush, ripe heirloom tomato. They’re practically a different species from regular supermarket fare.

     

    For salad lovers, summer is the season to revel.

    Many traditionally summer fruits and vegetables are available year-round. They may be imported from far away, picked before their time.

    For the best-tasting selections of the year, head to your farmers market and load up on heirloom cucumbers and tomatoes, and every other tempting veggie.

    For fruit salads, load up on juicy stone fruits: apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums and hybrids like a and pluots. You can also add some sliced fruit and berries to a green salad.

    Every week, pick something that you haven’t had before. Nasturtium leaves, for example, are a popular salad ingredient and garnish among fine chefs.
     
     
    SIMPLER IS BETTER

    When the produce has so much flavor, it doesn’t need a heavy dressing to add flavor.

    In fact, they may not even need dressing: a bit of salt and pepper, maybe a dash of balsamic or a squeeze of lemon or lime, or a vinaigrette, if you want something more substantial.

  • Classic Dijon Vinaigrette Recipe
  • Asian Vinaigrette Recipe
  •  
    Save the romaine for fall or mix it with summer lettuces, like Little Gem, bibb and butter lettuces (the latter two are varieties of Boston lettuce, and also make the best lettuce cups [the different types of lettuce]).

    Create a mix of flavors and textures: crunchy, salty, tangy, even sweet (berries, small dice of melon).

  • Snip in herbs, as many as you like. Basil, chives, dill, mint and parsley can be used singly, doubly, triply, or all together.
  • Summer squash is ready to slice or julienne raw, and toss in. Add yellow squash with the green, for more color.
  • Add corn to your salad. Sweet, raw corn is great, but if you have cooked corn, use it.
  • Like heat? Add arugula, radishes watercress, chiles.
  • Slice or chop? If you typically slice salad ingredients, try chopping your salad—and vice versa. You may already have the tools you need to easily chop a salad. Here’s a video using a mezzaluna. Or check Amazon for a “chopped salad chopper.”
  • Make a dinner salad by adding cheese, meats and/or seafood.
  • Keep garnishes light. Our favorite summer salad garnish is sunflower seeds.
  •  
     
    CHECK THE CHART FOR RECIPE IDEAS

    Good Eggs created the infographic below to help you blend ingredients from six different categories into a creative luncheon salad.

    We recommend that you add additional vegetables beyond what’s in the chart, and try new ingredients. For example, if your go-to lettuce year-round is romaine or iceberg for most of the year, branch out to its less common relatives.
     
     
    Summer Salad Ingredients

    [3] For a “fully packed” summer luncheon salad, choose an ingredient from each of these six sections (infographic © Good Eggs).

      

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