The Salad Pairing That Brings Out The Best Of Your Fresh Burrata

It's springtime, which means the long days of summer are right around the corner, and salad season is in full swing. There's nothing quite like the perfect combination of vegetables bursting with flavor amongst bright leafy greens. While summer salads usually bring to mind eating lighter, we think there's still room to indulge and add cheese to the menu — in this case, burrata. Burrata is known for its delicious, fresh flavor, making it an excellent choice in salads.

The cheese's richness means it works best when paired with big, bright flavors such as citrus or tomato, which are already summer salad favorites. Burrata is a natural fit in salads because it tastes buttery and is luxuriously creamy. Those things are great on their own, but they're even better as part of an ensemble. Citrus and burrata are a match that will have you enjoying an entire summer's worth of salads.

Burrata's fresh flavor makes it a perfect complement for bright citrus

Burrata originated in Puglia, Italy,  and comes from the family of cheeses known as pasta filata. Pasta filata means "spun paste" in Italian and speaks to how the cheese is stretched during processing. According to MasterClass, burrata is younger but starts off similar to mozzarella, with the cheese being stretched and pulled before being wrapped around stracciatella, a soft cheese made with mozzarella curds and cream (not to be confused with the soup or gelato flavor).

The thick creaminess at the center of the burrata shines best when there's a bit of acid. It pairs well with citrus fruits — it's the perfect cheesy stage for the bright, tangy flavors. In particular, it pairs well with blood orange, rounding out the fruit's natural sweetness. The contrast between creamy cheese and tart orange perfectly balances the palate. A salad of blood orange and burrata is begging for other strong notes and works well with them. Adding some fennel to the combination will result in a robust, beautiful dish with a peppery kick.

Stone fruits offer another option for burrata pairings

Citrus isn't the only fruit pairing that works with burrata; stone fruit is the way to go if you're looking for a salad with softer flavors. Plums, apricots, and nectarines all offer a range of fruity notes made for summer salads but without as much citrus as the blood orange. Peach brings a sweet, tart burst and makes for a burrata salad with extra wow. Placing slices of golden grilled peaches between layers of silky burrata, tomato, and basil upgrades a classic Caprese salad to create a new favorite.

The mild cheese also holds its own with herbs and spices — oregano or black pepper, are just some examples of some that play well together. Fresh basil, parsley, or dill will bring some herbaceous flavors to your fruit and burrata salads, and there's plenty of room to experiment with which combinations are the best. The important thing to remember is to look for acidic and robust flavors to highlight the buttery cheese; stay away from creamy dressings like Caesar or ranch, which will weigh down your salad and overshadow the burrata.