Burrata and Greens with Burnt Butter, Sizzled Sage and Citrus Peel

, from Issue #63. November, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Burrata and Greens with Burnt Butter, Sizzled Sage and Citrus Peel

This is a delicious all vegetable meal that really looks the part for Christmas Day with its striking green, red and white colours. Instead of serving as a main for four, you could replace the burrata with small balls of buffalo mozzarella and serve eight as a starter.

Serves: 4


150 grams frozen broad beans
16 asparagus spears
100 grams broccolini
50 grams butter
zest of lemon, taken off in strips with a zester
½ cup sage leaves, loosely packed
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 x burrata at room temperature, drained
¼ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

To serve
lemon wedges


Cook the broad beans in boiling lightly salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh with cold water. Pod the beans and transfer to a dish lined with paper towels. Cover and chill until required.

Trim the asparagus, reserving just the top 7-8cm of each spear. Trim the broccolini and cut each stem into several pieces. Cook vegetables separately in gently boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes, until done to your liking. My preference is to have a little less crunch, because if they are very crisp they won’t meld with the meltingly tender burrata. Drain and refresh with cold water. Dry on paper towels. 

Melt 2 teaspoons of the butter over medium heat in a small sauté pan and add the lemon zest. Cook until golden. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a side plate. Add the sage leaves to the pan and fry until crisp then add to the zest. Add the tomatoes to the pan, cut side down, and let them colour. Transfer to the plate and sprinkle with salt. This can all be done 1 hour ahead.

To assemble: Place the burrata on a chopping board. Heat a small dot of butter in a large sauté pan and gently reheat the greens. Season and transfer to a bowl. Clean the pan, add the remaining butter over a medium heat and cook gently until the butter foams then browns. The more you brown the butter the nuttier the flavour, but it must not burn. Aim for a good deep golden brown before the butter develops dark brown flecks.

Carefully transfer the burrata to warmed serving plates. Quickly mix the tomatoes through the greens, without smashing them. Spoon the vegetables around the burrata. Scatter the sizzled lemon zest and sage leaves over everything then spoon over the burnt butter and top with hazelnuts and a pinch of salt. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Pantry Note: Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese – essentially a mozzarella pouch filled with a rich cream. Available from specialty food stores.