Baby arugula, burrata, and bread salad

August 19, 2009

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Serves 4

Burrata is a firm white cheese with a creamy center, something like mozzarella, but creamier. You can buy it at Formaggio Kitchen (617-354-4750) and South End Formaggio (617-350-6996) or substitute a good locally made mozzarella.

1/2 long Italian bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium tomatoes, cored
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon dried Sicilian oregano, or to taste
8 ounces fresh baby arugula, stems trimmed
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
8 ounces burrata or mozzarella
Extra dried oregano (for sprinkling)
1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Spread the bread on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast the bread, turning it often, for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

2. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Drop in the tomatoes and cook for 10 seconds. Lift out, rinse with cold water, and peel off the skins. Halve the tomatoes horizontally and, working over a bowl, squeeze the tomatoes until their seeds pop out. Chop the flesh finely.

3. In a bowl, combine the bread cubes, tomatoes, water, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the oregano. Set aside for 15 minutes.

4. In another bowl, toss the arugula with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon oregano, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

5. Divide the bread salad among 4 salad plates. Add burrata or mozzarella to the bread salad and sprinkle the cheese with oregano. Add arugula to each plate. Adapted from Il Casale

Baby arugula, burrata, and bread salad Arugula with toasted bread salad and burrata. (Essdras M. Suarez, Globe Staff)