- 20100929 - Great Taste - Stefano Bruno

Burrrata with tomatoes and pesto

The salad on the left was an integral part of three dinners I had last week at Otto in the Venetian (formerly Enoteca San Marco and the same owners, Batali and Bastianich) on the Las Vegas strip. It was part of  my dining strategy to hold on tightly to any traces that still exist of summer foods. 

In Vegas it was still in the upper 90′s so heirloom cherry tomatoes and fresh basil for pesto were readily available to the Otto staff for this variation of insalata caprese.  But, what sends this salad into the stratosphere is that little white lump on top-burrata.  Burrata is a cheese that originates from Puglia in southwest Italy.  Basically, it’s a ball of fresh mozzarella, but instead of solid inside a little cavernous spot is filled with the most delectable cream and mozzarella shreds.  You might imagine that this cheese is not only delicate, but has a short shelf life.  Very true, but thanks to the Bruno family, owners of Di Stefano in Southern California, we have the opportunity of enjoying this delicacy within hours or days depending on where you live.  Stefano Bruno has perfected the art of making burrata by using milk from local dairies and importing cream from Italy plus devising a unique method for making the mozzarella shreds.  Summer will have one last hurrah in the KRUU studios with pesto from our garden, cherry tomatoes care of a neighbor, and Stefano’s burrata.  We call our creation “Summer in a Bowl” so tune in for how it’s done.Stefano will join us via telephone during the first part of the show and we’ll explore  the history behind burrata-his company’s only product.  You’ll learn why David Rosengarten, food critic, TV personality, and gourmand, calls Di Stefano “the one and only mind-blowing Puglia-style burrata.”

Also, several local cooks will hang out with us to share their “farewells to summer” or “welcome to fall” suggestions.