Courgette Pesto with Burrata and Fresh Tomato

. September 30, 2014
Courgette Pesto with Burrata and Fresh Tomato

Master cheese-maker Massimilliano De Caro is celebrating NZ cheese month with his award winning milky Burrata. Here's his simple recipe to enjoy the cream-filled parcel of fresh mozzarella...

Summer dining is just around the corner and this simple starter that showcases the colours of Italy is a lovely way to serve burrata at a barbecue or as an entrée for a dinner party. The pesto has a more subtle flavour than the standard one made with basil which won’t overwhelm the delicate milky-ness of the burrata.


1 large courgette

100 grams pine nuts

Small handful basil leaves

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

50 grams Parmigiano, grated

Sea salt to taste

To serve:

5 Angel cherry tomatoes, halved

Pizza bread or crusty loaf, sliced

Serves: 4

Wash the courgette and chop off the ends. Grate coarsely and place in a sieve or colander. Place the colander with the grated zucchini over a bowl. Salt to remove the liquid and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Into the bowl of a blender place the pine nuts, basil, olive oil and Parmigiano. Pulse to blend and season to taste. Add the grated, drained zucchini to the blender with another lug of olive oil. Mix well. Adjust seasoning as required.

To serve: Place the burrata on top of some grilled zucchini (sliced lengthways) on a platter. Add a generous dollop of the pesto. Decorate with the halved tomatoes. Sprinkle with pine nuts, a pinch of fresh oregano (optional) and drizzle with some of the pesto oil. Serve pizza bread alongside.

You can catch Massimilliano De Caro, Il Casaro's master cheese-maker, at two special events held at Auckland's Non Solo Pizza in Parnell on the 7th and 28th of October. He will be demonstrating how he hand forms his burrata, which Non Solo Pizza owner Antonio Crisci will then serve in a unique and beautiful dish. 

You can also visit one of the places where Il Casaro's fresh cheeses are sold including the markets at Grey Lynn, Parnell, St Heliers and Oratia. Visit for more information.