Gather around for yet another rendition of one of the best flavor combinations out there: tomato and basil and cheese (go ahead, name a better one, I don’t think you can, really!).
There really is nothing better than the simplicity of the three on their own, each delicious in their own way. Yet when they come together, magic happens. It’s been proven time and time again, from bruschetta to lasagna, ravioli, and Margherita flatbread.
And now, this burrata appetizer. Three simple layers come together to make a quick and easy dip-spread-whatever-you-want-to-call-it. And because it’s a little bit of all of the things – you can dip it, you can spread it on crostini, you can eat it with a spoon – we’re just gonna round it all up and call it an appetizer.
It’s a simple, easy, and potentially very quick (like, under 5 minutes!) recipe. If you’re making each component the day of serving this appetizer, then it is more time-intensive, yet still pretty hands-off when it comes to the tomato jam. More on that, let’s look at what you will need to make it!
Ingredients for this Burrata Appetizer
As I was saying, there are a few simple ingredients that come together for this recipe. Here’s the basis of what we need:
- Roasted Tomato Jam – this appetizer is one of my favorite things to do when I have roasted tomato jam on hand. The homemade version is warm with a hint of cinnamon, tangy, and sweet. It’s bright and sticky in the best way. If you don’t have time to make the tomato jam yourself – it does take two hours to slowly roast – you can buy tomato jam from more specialty retailers in your area, or sometimes at Whole Foods.
- Basil Pesto – when the basil plants are in their prime, there’s nothing better than making pesto from scratch! Now, if you want to make this in basil’s off-season, you can totally use store-bought pesto, too!
- Burrata – mozzarella’s more luxurious sister, burrata is filled with a mozzarella cream giving it an irresistibly soft texture.
- Crostini, Grilled Baguette, or another vehicle to dip/spread the goodness onto. I love crostini or grilled baguette because the little toasts are the perfect finger-food size and sturdy enough to either dip in the jam/pesto/burrata combination or hold up to spreading it all on top. You could also serve it with crackers, a warmed baguette, sourdough toast, or honestly whatever your heart desires and whatever will get all the deliciousness to your mouth ASAP.
- Side note: I love rubbing the freshly toasted crostini with garlic cloves for this recipe! It adds an extra layer of flavor but is optional.
How to Assemble
There’s really no way to do it. I like to spread the jam on a plate or serving dish first, then a layer of pesto, and top with a ball of burrata that has been cut open for easy spreading.
Sometimes a drizzle of high-quality olive oil takes it up a notch but isn’t necessary depending on your vibe. I do, however, highly recommend a sprinkle of flakey salt on top of the burrata. Don’t skip the salt, it brings out a lot of the flavor in the burrata.
Then, it’s up to you how you’d like to serve it! I like to use a knife to spread the perfect amount of jam, pesto, and burrata on each bite. Using crostini or a stiff cracker, you can enjoy it as a dip, too. Keep in mind, some burrata brands have a firmer exterior than others, which will influence the dip-ability of the app, but not the deliciousness.
Need a more grab-and-go method for serving this dip? You can also assemble the crostini by spreading jam, pesto, and burrata on each crostini piece individually, serving them on a platter, and letting guests grab a premade version until they’re gone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can prepare the tomato jam and pesto ahead of time. After that, assembly is so speedy quick I wouldn’t assemble until you’re ready to serve. If you’re taking an appetizer to a party and just need to transport it, it can be made a few hours ahead of time without issue.
Store any leftovers in the fridge covered for 1-2 days. Burrata is best served closer to room temperature, so take it out about 20-30 minutes before serving.
Burrata is a type of mozzarella cheese, which is a fresh soft cheese with high moisture content. Storing it in water helps it retain its shape and moisture content. Before layering it on the dip, gently pat the burrata ball with a paper towel or tea towel to absorb as much of the excess liquid as possible.
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Get the Recipe Burrata, Pesto, and Tomato Jam Appetizer (Spread)
Crostini or Grilled Bread
- Grilled Bread: Heat grill or grill pan over medium heat. Brush baguette slices lightly with olive oil. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side, until marks appear or toasted. Remove from heat, let cool slightly so that you can handle the slices, and rub a peeled garlic clove on one side of the bread if desired.
- Crostini: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush each side of the baguette slices with olive oil and place them on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes on each side until golden brown. Let cool slightly so that you can handle the slices, and rub a peeled garlic clove on one side of the bread if desired.
Burrata Pesto Dip
- On a serving plate, layer tomato jam, pesto, and burrata. You can cut open the burrata or leave it intact until serving time. Sprinkle the burrata with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve with the grilled bread or crostini (or another dipping/spreading vehicle of choice) and a knife for spreading. You can also dip, depending on the thickness of the burrata's exterior. Enjoy!
By the Way…
This recipe is part of our easy vegetarian appetizer collection. Check it out!