Delight family or dinner guests with this decadent cream-filled cheese (a member of the pasta filata, or “pulled cheese,” family). Here, it’s partnered with sweet grilled grape skewers and exquisite best-quality olive oil. For the salt, I recommend Australia’s flaky, apricot-colored Murray River salt.
- 12 ounces seedless red grapes, pulled off the vine
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed, divided use
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dark or light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted fennel seeds, lightly crushed, divided use
- Flaky sea salt, such as Murray River (see above) or Maldon
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 3 balls of burrata or buffalo mozzarella
- Small basil sprigs, for serving
Put the grapes in a medium bowl with the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon of flaked salt, and plenty of pepper. Mix well and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Thread 5 or 6 grapes onto each of 12 skewers. Reserve the marinade for serving.
Place a grill pan over high heat and ventilate your kitchen well. Once hot, add the grape skewers in batches and grill for 2 to 3 minutes, turning after 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
To serve, tear the balls of burrata in half and place one-half on each plate. Lean 2 grape skewers against each piece of cheese and spoon 1 1/2 teaspoon of the marinade over the cheese. Or arrange the cheese and grape skewers on a platter. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seed. Garnish with basil before serving.
Serves 6 as a starter — Recipe adapted from food52.com