Burrata With Romano Beans and Roasted Eggplant
Although burrata is inarguably the star of this stunning summery salad, roasted eggplant, cherry tomatoes and Romano beans add a brilliant mix of colors, textures and flavors to the creamy mozzarella. The eggplant is soft and rich; the tomatoes, juicy and sweet; and the Romano beans, which look like flat, broad green beans, add a nice crunch. Then, to season it all, the vegetables are tossed with a piquant mix of garlic oil, capers, olives and fresh herbs. Serve this as a light meal or a first course, with grilled or toasted country bread, perhaps smeared with a little of the garlic confit left over from making the garlic oil.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1 ¼pounds eggplant, diced in 1-inch pieces
- ½teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed for cooking beans
- 8garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- ⅔cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
- 6ounces cherry tomatoes, halved (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1pound Romano beans, trimmed
- ¼cup pitted and sliced kalamata olives
- 1tablespoon capers, drained
- ¼cup torn fresh mint
- ¼cup torn fresh basil
- 2teaspoons red wine vinegar, more as needed
- Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, as needed
- Black pepper, as needed
- 12ounces burrata
- Crusty bread, toasted or grilled, for serving
Step 1Put eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and let stand in the sink to drain for 20 to 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Step 2Meanwhile, make garlic oil: Place garlic cloves in a small pot and cover with 1/3 cup olive oil. Place over very low heat and cook gently until soft and pale golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Mash garlic with a fork, then strain the oil into a jar or little bowl, pressing hard on the solids. (Use the solids, known as garlic confit, as a spread for bread or keep to mix into vinaigrettes or marinades. It will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator.)
Step 3Heat oven to 450 degrees. Squeeze out as much excess liquid from eggplant as possible (or pat very dry). Toss eggplant with 1/3 cup olive oil and spread out on 1 or 2 rimmed baking sheets so the pieces aren’t touching. (This makes for the best browning.) Roast, tossing once or twice, until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer eggplant to a bowl and toss with tomatoes and 3 tablespoons garlic oil.
Step 4Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in Romano beans and cook until just tender, 3 to 6 minutes depending on their size and thickness. Drain well under cold running water. Cut into 1-inch pieces; add to bowl of eggplant.
Step 5Toss olives, capers, mint, basil, vinegar and a little more garlic oil into salad. Season with flaky salt and pepper.
Step 6Place cheese in the center of a serving platter and surround with salad. Drizzle with more garlic oil if you like, and sprinkle with more flaky sea salt. Serve with crusty bread.