Toasted Bread with Burrata and Arugula

This appetizer is traditionally made with friselle (ring-shaped rolls). Friselle are baked twice, giving the rolls a very crunchy texture. To soften the bread slightly, it's dipped in water and brushed with olive oil before serving. If friselle aren't available, toasted ciabatta is an easier-to-find substitute. This recipe comes from our Food of Puglia menu for 6.
6 SERVINGS
May 2010

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 3x2-inch pieces friselle or crusty ciabatta bread, halved horizontally
  • 5 tablespoons (about) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, halved
  • 1 8-ounce ball burrata cheese, cut into 12 wedges
  • 1 1/2 cups (about) baby arugula
  • Finely grated peel from 1 lemon

PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Fill small bowl with water. Place bread halves, cut side up, on baking sheet; brush bread with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toast bread in oven until crisp and light golden around edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Lightly brush each bread half with water (do not soak). Rub cut sides of bread halves with cut sides of garlic halves.
  • Place 2 bread halves, cut side up, on each of 6 plates. Drizzle each bread half lightly with olive oil. Top each half with 1 burrata wedge; sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Toss arugula with 1 tablespoon olive oil in small bowl; sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mound arugula salad atop burrata on each bread half; sprinkle each with grated lemon peel and serve.

WHAT TO DRINK

  • Pour an Italian Chardonnay, such as the 2008 Tormaresca Chardonnay from Puglia, with tropical fruity notes (Italy, $12). If you can't find that bottle, try the biodynamic 2008 Alois Lageder "Beta Delta" Chardonnay-Pinot Grigio (Italy, $22). Its blend of aromatic fruit and bright acidity would be delicious with the bread with burrata.
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