The Only 2 Ingredients You Need To Dress Up A Ball Of Burrata

When the home cook is called upon to entertain, fun and appealing foods that require minimal effort in the kitchen can be game-changers. Charcuterie boards, snacks, dip, and dainty cracker toppings have stood the test of time. Another food that checks all the boxes is cheese. While most foodies are familiar with the broad cheese spectrum encompassing everything from blocks of cheddar to oozy, smelly delicacies, another surefire crowd-pleaser is burrata.

Per MasterClass, burrata is a young Italian soft cheese made from cow's milk. It's a fresh mozzarella that encases cream and delicate cheese curds, invented to utilize remnants from mozzarella-making, MasterClass adds. It's sold packaged in a liquid and prized for its incredibly soft, inviting texture that's best enjoyed within days (if not hours) of being made, per Wisconsin Cheese. But perhaps the best thing about burrata is that you need just two ingredients to turn it into an unforgettable appetizer experience — and you probably already have them in your pantry.

Olive oil and salt

Sources like MasterClass and Wisconsin Cheese explain that traditionally, burrata is served stand-alone with olive oil and salt — and perhaps some variation of crusty bread, toast, or crostini. The quality of these accouterments is of utmost importance to highlight the alluring freshness of the cheese. Spring for premium extra virgin olive oil and artisanal sea salt — don't reach for anything cheap or in a tabletop shaker.

For the salt, think along the lines of Maldon flake salt, fleur de sel, or Celtic Gray — even a good smoked salt will add an exciting flavor dimension to the rich, sweet, milky burrata. Per Eataly, you'll want a high-end olive oil with terroir (taste of place) — and nuanced flavors like a fine wine. That's really all burrata asks for: a drizzle of oil and a dash of salt. Oh, and for drinking with it, Wisconsin Cheese endorses dry whites and light reds, beers, or hard cider.

Cooking with burrata

While you can buy burrata at the grocery store, particularly if they have a good gourmet cheese section, you can also whip it up at home using MasterClass's easy recipe. And though simply seasoned burrata is utter bliss, why stop there? MasterClass recommends burrata as a finishing topping for homemade pizza — it goes well with tomatoes and salads, too. Wisconsin Cheese suggests roasted vegetables, fruit, prosciutto, and truffles — whose deep, rich taste complement the delicate nature of the cheese.

You can venture far into fancy territory with burrata, too. It's mild and flavor-friendly. Michelin Guide offers burrata with speck (cured, delicately spiced, and smoked pork, per Eataly), peas, and mint, as well as the luxurious, decadent burrata with caviar, chives, and egg on top. If you want to amaze the eyes AND the belly, turn to Chef Chris Cosentino's Taste the Rainbow salad with colorful grapes, cherry tomatoes, and berries. He doesn't skimp on the flake salt, either. Impress your guests with a ball of burrata: a no-cook, low-maintenance delight.