Di Stefano Burrata with Roasted Peppers and Arugula From "Grilled Cheese, Please!"
Photo Credit Alyssa Lightner
Burrata doesn’t translate to rich and creamy in English, but it might just as well. This seductive cheese, originally from southern Italy, is essentially a ball-shaped pouch made of a thin “skin” of mozzarella stretched around a mixture of cream and strips of mozzarella. Because of its soft creamy texture, the cheese is easiest to cut when it’s cold. You can find it in Italian delicatessens, specialty foods stores, some Whole Foods, and cheese shops around the country. If you can’t find it, use mozzarella instead.
4 ounces roasted red peppers from a jar, drained (or make your own)
1 8-ounce piece Di Stefano burrata, quartered (or use water-packed mozzarella, and cut into ¼-inch thick slices)
1 ¼ cup packed arugula, stems removed
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt, to taste
8 sandwich-size slices Italian bread (or use sourdough or French)
To assemble: Brush oil on one side of each of the bread slices. Place 4 slices of bread, oil side down, on your work surface. Put the cheese on the bread and spread lightly to distribute the cheese evenly. Lay the peppers on top of the cheese. Pile the arugula onto the peppers. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with a little salt to taste. Top with remaining bread slices, oil side up.
For stovetop method: Heat a large nonstick skillet over a medium heat 2 minutes. Put the sandwiches into the pan, cover, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the undersides are well browned. Turn the sandwiches, pressing each one lightly with a spatula to flatten slightly (you don’t want the burrata to come spurting out). Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the second side is golden brown. Turn the sandwiches once more, press firmly with the spatula again, cook for 1 minute, and remove from the pan. Let cool 2 to 3 minutes. Cut in half and serve.
For sandwich maker method: Preheat the sandwich maker. Follow directions for assembly above. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Note: Depending on the weight of your sandwich maker lid, the creamy cheese might end up oozing out the sides of the sandwich. For this reason, I’d experiment with one sandwich first. If the cheese doesn’t ooze, then go ahead and make the others. Otherwise, follow the stovetop method.