Mozzarella on the outside, lush ricotta on the inside, I could eat burrata with a fork and knife for dinner with every day of the summer and never grow tired of it. I mean, if money was no object. In reality, it’s a bit too much of a luxury to pull off on a daily basis, so instead, I try to find ways to stretch burrata into a foundation for larger dishes. This leads me to my favorite burrata move, the one that if you’re not doing yet, I need you to start right now. We’re basically going to butterfly it, or open it like a book. Cut the burrata down the middle, but stop halfway, turn your knife to the side, cut almost out to the edge of the ball, then flip this outward. Repeat on the second side. Nudge the ricotta center a little flatter. Drizzle it with olive oil and flaky sea salt and then let it hang out and warm up while you figure out what you’re going to scatter on top. Burrata was meant to be eaten at room temperature, where its complex flavors and creaminess come through the loudest. There’s an economy to it, too; instead of feeling like we never have enough, every bite on the plate gets its own generous swoop of the best part.
Until recently, I pretty much only used this method as a vehicle for tomatoes. But in Where Cooking Begins, the first cookbook from Bon Appétit food director, Carla Lalli Music, I spotted a recipe for sugar snap peas in which half are left raw and the other are grilled and knew it was exactly what I wanted to do to hold me over until perfect tomatoes arrive. It’s such a treat. Sugar snap peas — unlike regular peas, and what makes them so special — require no cooking. When they’re in season, as they are right now, they’re perfectly sweet and crunchy right from the market. But they’re really good lightly charred on a grill, or in a hot skillet, shishito pepper-style. Why choose? This recipe gives us both.
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