Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spring on a Plate (Burrata with Simple Greens and Snap Peas)

The loveliest spring days call for the simplest of suppers.
The unseasonably mild winter was marvelous. The part where it lasted until May, less so. We're finally seeing the sun again. We're pulling out cushions for the patio furniture, scraping bird poop off the swing set, and wiping off the grimy window screens that never seem to make it down for winter. Spring, it's safe to say, has finally sprung here in the great Midwest.
Almost a year ago, the KC kids sampled Burrata for the first time in a mozzarella cheese-off. Despite a staunch vocal majority in favor of string cheese, Looly was swept off her feet by the Burrata. I have always liked that kid, so I've been keeping it in constant rotation strictly for her benefit. The fact that she never eats more than an ounce and I'm left to lick the plate has very little to do with it.

In celebration of Looly and Burrata enthusiasts everywhere, for the fans of chirping cardinals, lilac-scented breezes, humming lawn mowers in the distance and lazy days spent thumbing through cooking magazines outdoors on sun-warmed cushions, a most perfectly delightful spring supper.

So go ahead, pour yourself a cold glass of rosé. Let the kids sip spritzers of fruit juice and seltzer or agua fresca while they work. It'll only take a minute.

Fresh snap peas. A few greens. Slice a loaf of good bread and my friends, dinner is served. Because on days like this, you shouldn't part with the sunshine any longer than absolutely necessary.
Burrata with Simple Greens and Snap Peas
adapted from Bon Appetit

8 ounces sugar snap peas
4 cups baby greens (spinach, arugula, watercress, romaine, you name it)
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
zest of 1 medium lemon
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
kosher salt or sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 large ball burrata cheese (about 1 lb)

Arrange your children around a shady outdoor table and have them pull the strings off the snap peas and trim the ends. If you can't drum up some kids, you're going to have to do this part yourself. Sorry.

Cut the peapods in half lengthwise or use your fingers to pry them apart, which turns out to be another fine task for the shorties in your life.

Combine the peapods, greens, mint, and basil in a large salad bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice and zest. Season well with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the greens and toss gently to coat the leaves.

Now the fun part. This is a job for your favorite know the one that never rolls their eyes, puts their dirty clothes in the hamper without being reminded, never forgets to flush the toilet, and has yet to utter the phrase "that's not fair." Yeah, I don't have one of those either. Work with what you've got. In any event, somebody needs to tear open the ball of burrata onto a platter. Let them make a real mess of it, it's going to get all prettied up with greens anyway.

The other less fortunate helpers can use their clean hands to scoop salad onto the platter around and atop the cheese. Slice some bread and tuck in. Taste spring. On a plate.

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