Roasted Carrots with Burrata

Do you like hosting dinner parties? One thing that can make a night feel epic is kicking the meal off with an amazing starter. Today, for our month of simple appetizers, Jessica Battilana is sharing her recipe for roasted carrots with burrata from her latest cookbook, Repertoire. Here’s how to make it…

Roasted Carrots with Burrata and Salsa Rustica
From Jessica Battilana’s Repertoire

I am not ordinarily the kind of cranky person who orders something at a restaurant and then grouses about how she could make it at home, but I’ve got to admit that every time I order a burrata, I become one. That’s because by purchasing a ball of burrata, you’re 90% of the way to a starter you’d pay $14 for in a restaurant. Burrata, the mozzarella-like cow’s-milk cheese that has been formed into a pouch and filled with curds and cream, is luscious, rich and milky. It’s great with juicy ripe tomatoes; actually, there’s hardly a vegetable that isn’t great with burrata. This recipe works best with smallish carrots, about three-quarters of an inch thick. I roast them whole until tender and blackened in spots, coaxing out their natural sweetness, then top them with the cheese and salsa rustica, a zippy, acidic herb sauce enriched with pistachios. Because I like to go all out, I recommend two balls of burrata, but you could exercise slightly more restraint (and lower your grocery bill) by making do with one.

Recipe: Roasted Carrots with Burrata and Salsa Rustica
Serves 4-6

You’ll need:

2 bunches small carrots (about 16)
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup packed parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup packed mint leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup roasted salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp minced shallots
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 (8 oz.) burrata balls
Flaky salt, such as Maldon, for serving

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Toss the carrots with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and spread on a rimmed baking sheet or in a large cast-iron pan. Bake, shaking the pan occasionally, until the carrots are tender and blackened in spots, about 45 minutes. (Use your judgment here; if you’ve got tiny carrots, they won’t take as long to roast.) Let the carrots cool slightly, then transfer to a platter.

While the carrots roast, make the salsa rustica. In a bowl, combine the chopped herbs, pistachios, shallots, lemon juice and zest and the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, use your hands to tear each ball of burrata into large pieces, then set on top of the carrots and spoon the salsa rustica over. Top with a little flaky salt.

Jessica Battilana

Thank you so much, Jessica! Your new cookbook is beautiful.

P.S. More recipes, including the best caprese salad and Spanish tortilla. Plus, how to host an easy dinner party.

(Excerpted from Repertoire Copyright © 2018 by Jessica Battilana. Used with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York. All rights reserved. Thanks to Franny Eremin for helping with this series.)