NOPI’s Burrata with Blood Orange, Coriander Seeds and Lavender Oil

 

 

This dish took my breath away: it’s brilliant in color, ultimate in taste and spectacular in presentation. I stared at the dish for a very long time when I first saw it in Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest book NOPI. If the dish were a person, I’d have felt totally embarrassed by my extended stare. (The picture in the book is so much better than my shots here.) We, participants at IHCC, are cooking along with Ottolenghi, the featured chef of the month. There will be other exciting Ottolenghi dishes there, please take a look.

NOPI has been awarded the 2016 winner by the James Beard Foundation in cooking from a professional point of view. I’m bringing this exquisite dish to help celebrate NOPI‘s exalted accomplishment. I have drawn inspirations, time and time again — from meeting Ottolenghi and Scully while they were on the book tour in New York city, leafing through the book, to cooking a few of its recipes. Words are falling short on how NOPI and Ottolenghi’s earlier books have made me a better cook and expanded my palate. Honestly, I won’t be able to put together dishes like these without the help and instructions from the authors/chefs.

I can see these NOPI‘s dishes showing up on tasting menus in restaurants anywhere and getting rave reviews. What Ottolenghi and Scully put together in the book is pure genius. Some of these dishes may look complicated. They may not be your everyday dishes. But the majority of the recipes can fit on one page. Above all, they have succeeded in making restaurant-quality dishes accessible for the home cooks — and without dumbing down.

These dishes are suitable for tasting menus anywhere

 

Here is my interpretation of a tasting menu based on various NOPI‘s recipes:

Starters
Burrata with blood orange, coriander seeds and lavender oil

Roasted eggplant with black garlic, pine nuts and basil

Salad 
Red quinoa and watercress salad

Seafood
Lobster, fennel and grilled grape salad

Meat
Quail with burnt miso butterscotch and pomegranate and walnut salsa

Dessert
Semolina-lemon syrup cake

The burrata starter, according to Ottolenghi, is one of the hot selling items at NOPI (his high-end restaurant in London). I can understand why. Burrata is rich cream wrapped in mozzarella as an outer shell, like a ball. The cream oozes out as you cut open the mozzarella layer. There is nothing quite like it. It is second to none given its mellow, smooth and creamy goodness.

Burrata is getting easier to find these days. I’ve found burrata in the local farmer’s market. But they sell out fast! With increased popularity, I’ve even spotted burrata on the shelves in Trader Joe’s and Costco from time to time.

Burrata is usually paired with tomatoes, making it more of a summer dish when tomatoes are at their best. This can be found in an earlier post when I first discovered this remarkable cheese through — guess who? Yes, the one and only Ottolenghi…. (He has introduced me to countless ingredients which have become indispensable in my pantry.) Little did I know that it also pairs well with blood oranges, which are generally available in the early spring.

I saved my last blood orange of the season for this dish. I’m so glad I did. A taste of the creamy burrata, a citrus spark from the blood orange, the sweet aroma of lavender and the pop of roasted coriander seeds put me in a very happy place. A place teeming with a heightened sense of awe, enthralled by the incredible flavor and texture of delectable food, as you take that first bite. You really have to try it.

There is no reason why we can’t have a similarly delicious dish using other seasonal fruits when blood oranges are not available. Ottolenghi recommends white peaches, clementines, pink grapefruit, roasted red grapes, pickled pears and kohlrabi, or simply regular oranges. With so many good options, this awesome dish can be enjoyed year round.

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Susan Lindquist
    May 13, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Wow! What a dish! I agree with you about the inventiveness of Ottolenghi. I have tried the most interesting spice and vegetable combinations since discovering him and his cook books! I also think his dessert recipes are just the very best! So different and presented so beautifully!

  • Reply
    Claudia
    May 15, 2016 at 1:34 am

    I have been borrowing and renewing his books from the library. The idea was to find which one(s) I wanted to buy, but it's so hard to choose. He has been so inspiring with the flavor palette of spices combinations and textures. I don't think burrata has made it to Hawaii, but I'll be looking out for it.

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    May 15, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Susan, I have made a few of Ottolenghi's desserts and found them to be among the very best as well.

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    May 15, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Have you checked his website and other online resources lately? There are tons of lovely Ottolenghi's recipes out there.

  • Reply
    Zosia
    May 15, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    I would definitely enjoy that tasting menu starting with that beautiful burrata dish. I'm looking forward to seeing what dessert you choose.

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    May 15, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    The next cook book Ottolenghi is working on is about desserts. That will be one of my sources.

  • Reply
    Kim
    May 15, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    I think Ottolenghi is without a doubt, hands down, one of the best chefs. His reputation is somewhat legendary already. I look forward to getting a copy of NOPI, as well as following him in the years to come.

    This dish looks heavenly! We have a Murray's cheese shop in my grocery store and I see burrata all the time! I always look for ways (and excuses) to eat it:) Delicious!

  • Reply
    Diane Zwang
    May 16, 2016 at 12:59 am

    We love burrata cheese too. It is on one of our favorite pizzas at a local restaurant. This dish looks beautiful and delicious. I really enjoy Ottolenghi's recipes and I will have to add this one to my list.

  • Reply
    Joyce Rachel Lee-Bates
    May 16, 2016 at 3:14 am

    Looks sophisticated and challenging but I guess it must be rewarding too.

  • Reply
    Deb in Hawaii
    May 17, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Great post! Nopi is the one Ottolenghi cookbook I don't have yet and I am going to have to remedy that soon I think! This salad is gorgeous. I have had burrata and have found it a time or two here–it is delicious. I was just reading an article somewhere online that called it "sexy mozzarella" which made me laugh. It definitely looks sexy in this salad as well as stunning on the plate! 😉

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    May 18, 2016 at 2:07 am

    I am glad you can find this sexy mozzarella in Hawaii. It's a real treat!

  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    May 18, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    I do not have Nopi but have been eyeing it! I have not tried burrata and not sure that I can even find it here. That plate of burrata looks so appetizing! And gorgeous!

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