I have a new recruit for tomato season! This burrata caprese recipe combines juicy heirloom tomatoes, creamy cheese, and just a few key ingredients for the ultimate summer salad!
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Caprese salad is one of my all-time favorite appetizers. I make it all summer long with local heirloom tomatoes of all sizes and colors. This version uses fresh burrata cheese, which is one of my all-time favorite cheeses. It’s luscious, salty, and absolutely perfect when served with basil, tomatoes, and crunchy garlic bread crostini.
You should probably add in a glass of fruity berry lemonade for good measure.
📖Why This Recipe Works
Insalata caprese, the classic Italian salad of sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella cheese is a picnic classic. But now and then we need to change things up. This swaps the mozzarella for a ball of burrata. The soft Italian cheese has a creamy texture that makes its own dressing when mixed with juicy tomatoes.
It is a simple recipe but will take your traditional caprese salad to the next level. T
What is Burrata?
Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese. it consists of an outer shell of fresh mozzarella filled with Stracciatella (cheese curds) and cream. It has a milky texture and buttery taste. Burrata is best served at room temperature and is always stored in brine. It is available at most large grocery stores, cheese shops, and Italian markets.
Heirloom Tomatoes - You can use any size or color of ripe tomatoes. I like to mix small cherry tomatoes with larger tomatoes. A variety of colors is both eye-pleasing and add different layers of flavor.
Burrata - Fresh burrata cheese is everything you love about fresh mozzarella and then some. It’s creamy, milky, and amazingly flavorful. Burrata is best used within 48 hours of purchase.
Basil - One of three ingredients required for a classic Caprese salad. Its sweet herbal flavor is just perfect with the tomato and burrata. In a pinch, replace with oregano, but basil is the only thing that’s going to give you the classic Caprese flavor.
Balsamic Vinegar - Balsamic vinegar is acidic, sweet, and just really darn good when drizzled over the top of a Caprese salad. Store-bought balsamic glaze will also work well.
Brown Sugar- To make the balsamic reduction.
Lemon- This is my secret ingredient. Adding fresh lemon zest adds another level of flavor without increasing the acid.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Fruity, spicy, and aromatic extra virgin olive oil is the best when paired with fresh tomatoes. It’s worth it to use the good stuff here since you can really taste it.
Baguette - This is the classic bread to use, but you can replace it with baguette crackers or thin-cut French bread as well. I use gluten-free bread (of course).
Garlic - Rubbing the crostini with a garlic clove gives some delicious garlic flavor without overwhelming the rest of the dish.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
⏲️How to Make Caprese Salad with Burrata
This burrata caprese salad is so simple and so delicious it’ll be the only appetizer you want to make this summer. While it is mainly just assembly, here is a step-by-step breakdown of the instructions.
Step 1 - Make the Balsamic Glaze
In a small pot, combine balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and simmer over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes. The goal is to reduce the balsamic vinegar into a thick, drizzle-able glaze, concentrating its flavors.
Allow the glaze to cool while you prep the crostini.
Step 2 - Toast the Garlic Crostini
To make the crostini, slice a baguette into ½-inch thick rounds. Brush both sides of each slice with olive oil and crisp them under the broiler for about 2 minutes. Flip them to toast the other side for an additional 2 minutes.
Once crisp, rub each slice with a clove of garlic and sprinkle with a little salt.
Step 3- Assemble the Salad
Slice the tomatoes and arrange them on a serving platter. If any of the juices from the tomatoes have accumulated on the cutting board, pour them over top of the sliced tomatoes.
Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. This a great opportunity to break out your favorite fancy sea salt! Add the basil leaves to the top of the tomatoes.
Add the creamy burrata cheese to the center of the tomatoes. Sprinkle on the lemon zest and drizzle the balsamic glaze overtop.
Serve with garlic crostini. If you want to tear the cheese, do so right before serving.
🥗What to Serve with a Burrata Caprese Salad
This burrata caprese salad is my favorite summer appetizer, but it also is a great side dish to something like this summery salmon with pineapple salsa. It’s also excellent served with a cast iron steak, BBQ grilled chicken, or on its own as a vegetarian main dish for two.
For a summer appetizer spread serve it with eggplant caponata, Hawaiian chicken kabobs, and spicy Cajun shrimp deviled eggs. To drink I like a strawberry whiskey smash and gluten-free lemon cookies for something sweet.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tip
Allow the burrata to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
Store whole tomatoes at room temperature, not in the refrigerator. Refrigerating tomatoes can give them an unpleasant mealy texture.
This recipe is so delicious that you probably won’t have any leftovers. It’s best served within a few hours after it’s made. Once you slice the tomatoes and cut into the burrata there is no going back!
More Summer Tomato Recipes
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
I do not recommend making this burrata caprese salad until just before you’re ready to serve it. The tomato flavor is much more pronounced when served at room temperature, and they don’t keep well once sliced.
For gluten-free baguettes, I recommend the Schar baguette or the Against the Grain French loaf.
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Burrata Caprese Salad
- 1 baguette sliced into rounds
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil olive oil
- 1 clove garlic cut in half
- Cut the tomatoes into slices, about ⅓ inch thick. For smaller tomatoes, cut them into quarters. Arrange them on a platter, don't forget all the extra juices. Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt, pepper and fresh basil leaves3-4 heirloom tomatoes, 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- Add the burrata to the center of the plate. Tear it slightly to make it easier to eat. Sprinkle of the lemon zest and drizzle on the balsamic glaze. Serve with crostini.8 ounces burrata, 1 lemon
- Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to a small pan. Bring the mixture up to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low, then continue to simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced in volume by about half. This should take 5 to 10 minutes.¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- Preheat your broiler. Place your sliced bread on a large baking sheet. Brush each side of the bread with the olive oil.1 baguette, 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil olive oil
- Place in the oven on a middle rack for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Flip and broil for another 2 minutes.
- Once removed, use the cut side of a garlic clove and rub on the toast then lightly sprinkle salt on top.1 clove garlic
- Gluten Free: For gluten-free, I recommend the Schar baguette or the Against the Grain French loaf.
- Lemon Zest: The lemon zest is optional but adds a delightful citrusy touch without adding additional acid.
- Fresh Burrata: You can serve the burrata whole or tear it into pieces and scatter it over the tomatoes for easy serving.