Burrata with Lentils and Basil Vinaigrette

Burrata with Lentils and Basil Vinaigrette

Lentils:

Yield: 6 servings
1 1/2 cups dried lentils de puy or other small green lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium zucchinis (about 6 ounces each), diced
1 small or 1/2 medium onion, diced
Leaves from 3 fresh sprigs thyme
2 small or 1 large garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Basil Vinaigrette:

1 1/4 cups fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Assembly

2 large balls of burrata (or 4 smaller ones)
Sea salt and more black pepper
A few small basil leaves for garnish

Directions

Cook lentils: Pick over and rinse lentils. Place them in a medium saucepan and cover with 3 inches of cold water, seasoned well with salt. Simmer the lentils over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until firm-tender. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, make vinaigrette: Blend basil, mustard and vinegar together in a food processor (I use my mini food processor). With machine running, drizzle in olive oil in a thin stream. Season well with salt and black pepper. You’ll need to scrape the machine down a few times to get all of the leaves minced.

In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add zucchini, onion, thyme, salt and pepper and cooking, stirring frequently, until softened and just barely picking up color, about 9 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add cooked lentils back to pan and stir to mix and re-heat; you can add a splash of water if they’re sticking. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Assemble: Transfer lentil-vegetable mixture to a large, wide serving bowl and stir in 3/4 of vinaigrette. Place intact burratas on top and then cut into quarters with a sharp knife so you don’t miss any of the wonderful creaminess that spills out. The warmth of the lentils will melt it further. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette, a few pinches of sea salt and several grinds of black pepper. Scatter basil leaves on top for garnish.

Yield: 6 servings

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