Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad

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Summer might be coming to a close, but there’s no way I’m letting go of this recipe. My roommate and I first stumbled across this Caprese salad-cousin in what is quickly becoming one of our favorite restaurants in Madison, Pig in a Fur Coat (if you live in or visit the area, you must go – get the burrata and the poutine…and everything). This salad, a combination of burrata cheese, heirloom tomatos, and ground cherries, is simple but oh so delicious. The secret is in the flavorful twist on the typical ingredients.

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Madison happens to be the home of the largest producers-only (as in no resale) farmers’ market in the United States, which is an amazing source of fresh produce (and my personal guilty pleasure – cheese). That being said, you can pick up many of these ingredients in other farmers’ markets and even chain supermarkets like Trader Joe’s! The ground cherries, something I had never even heard of before ordering this salad, are sold all over the farmers’ market and are probably my new favorite vegetable. Tiny and covered by a light husk, these tomatoes are shockingly sweet and decidedly delicious.

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For this salad to be at its best, the ingredients should be really fresh – nice firm tomatoes, freshly cut basil. While I enjoy Caprese salad, I often find the mozzarella a little too rubbery for my taste, which is why burrata is the absolute best – a thin mozzarella outer layer containing rich, moist cream on the inside.

Ingredients

  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Burrata cheese
  • Ground cherries
  • Basil
  • Balsamic vinegar (reduced or glaze)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt/pepper to taste

I haven’t included measurements because this salad is all about shaping it to taste. For my roommate’s and my salads, I chopped up one (very large) heirloom tomato and gave us each a burrata ball.

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To prepare this salad, just chop up the tomato(es) and spread them around in a bowl or on a plate with the burrata. Sprinkle plenty of ground cherries around, and make sure to garnish with your favorite combination of basil, balsamic, olive oil, salt or pepper.

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I hope you like it!

Ginny

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July 4th and Summer Sangria

july 4th porch party sangria sparklers

Happy Independence Day everyone! Hopefully everyone enjoyed the holiday. We had a relaxing party on my back porch with a hodge-podge of red, white, and blue decor. I used a lace table cloth and a red and blue star printed burlap cloth as a table runner, along with some blue plates and red chargers to get into the holiday spirit. I’m loving the idea of using burlap as a table runner for summer parties – Joann Fabrics has such cute patterns that add such spunk to the table.

july 4th porch party sangria sparklers

For our main drink, I made a patriotic sangria. The recipe is fairly simple:

Patriotic Sangria

  • 2 bottles dry white wine (I used Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck Chardonnay)
  • 1/2 cup of vodka (I used whipped vodka, which gave the sangria a lightly vanilla flavor)
  • 1/2 cup of limoncello (you could also replace this with triple sec or maybe peach schnapps)
  • 1 package of blueberries
  • 1 package of strawberries, sliced
  • 1 pineapple, cut into chunks

Combine all of the ingredients into a pitcher and let them soak together for a couple of hours, then, enjoy!

We also used a couple sparklers I found in my desk drawer that have been languishing there since I don’t know when. They were so much fun that I think I might track down more for my birthday.

july 4th porch party sangria sparklers

I hope everyone’s been having a good week,

Ginny


Earl Grey Sea Salt Macarons

sea salt earl grey macarons

In preparation for my annual birthday tea party, my friend Will and I have been practicing making macarons. After two questionable attempts, we finally got a winning batch after borrowing my neighbor’s stand mixer.

sea salt earl grey macarons

For the cookies themselves we used a traditional Italian meringue recipe, and for the filling we made an earl grey sea salt we got from Food, J’Taime. When William first suggested the caramel filling, I was mildly skeptical (although I love earl grey flavoring, especially in sorbet). Earl grey and salted caramel? Seemed a little strange. Needless to say, I was wrong. The caramel was amazing. I want to make more so I can have a pot on hand to drizzle on everything that I eat.

sea salt earl grey macarons

We dusted the top of the macarons with edible pearl glitter dust. I’ve had a couple bottles of the edible glitter hidden away in my baking cabinet for awhile now, but I haven’t really figured out how to use them until now. I looked up several methods of applying it, and settled on vodka (?!?). Several sources called for mixing the glitter with a little bit of vodka and then brushing it on the surface (the vodka should evaporate with time). I was again a little skeptical, especially since we were about to bring over a couple sample cookies to my neighbors to thank them for the use of their mixer. I did not want to serve them delicate French cookies with a faint aftertaste of Svedka. Luckily, the vodka was tasteless and we got a lovely gold sheen on the cookies.

sea salt earl grey macarons

After all our crazed efforts, the cookies turned out deliciously, and I’m so excited to make more for my birthday.

Cheers,

Ginny