This. Was. Insanely. Good. A quick appetizer that was to die for, showcasing the stars of the end of summer harvest: peaches, corn and lima beans.
This recipe was the result of, and inspired by, a farmer’s market road sign announcing the “Limas are in!”. Now lima beans and I are not really acquainted other than in frozen succotash, which I don’t care for. But stop at the market I did, for the sake of keeping an open mind. I discovered they were not already shelled(Horror! Who has time?) and left empty-handed. But visions of limas and burrata were dancing in my head and the next day, I put-my-big-girl-lima-shelling-pants-on and went back to get me some limas. The limas were right next to some incredible New Jersey peaches and the gears of creativity started turning. Burrata needs little to turn it into a decadent appetizer. These gooey balls of heaven hold the power to transform one’s life. They need little enhancement to make one weak in the knees. Usually I throw some sliced tomatoes around it, toss a little basil and drizzle some good olive oil on top and call it delicious. Not this time! Burrata, get ready to be transformed!
To fully appreciate burrata’s luscious decadence, bring it to room temperature first. While the cheese was warming up, I oven-roasted 2 dozen thick peach slices drizzled with honey until they were fork tender but not too mushy, about 10-12 minutes in the middle of a 350F oven, on a lined baking sheet. My thinking was to bring out their sweetness and make the peaches softer to smoosh on top of the burrata.
While the peaches were roasting, I blanched an ear of fresh sweet corn and boiled 2/3 cup of shelled lima beans, about 3 minutes each. Roasting or grilling the corn to char it would add some lovely smokiness. The limas were tossed in a smidgen of olive oil and salted generously with sea salt. Don’t be shy with the salt as the limas will balance the sweetness of the honeyed peaches and the sweet corn. The corn was cut from the ear and given a few turns of the pepper mill. I made some French bread crostini by slicing it 1/2″ thick, drizzling with olive oil and some sea salt and broiling the slices for about 2 minutes.
To assemble, I cut an X in the top of the burrata to open it up. Drizzled it with a bit of olive oil and gave it a few turns of the pepper mill. I surrounded the burrata with the peaches, topped with the corn and lima beans. I scattered a few tablespoons of shredded basil over the whole thing and gave it a few drizzles of flavored balsamic and a scant drizzle of more olive oil. This makes everything smear onto the crostini more easily. Mint would also be a really good substitute for the basil. Don’t have fresh limas? You can substiture frozen ones, broadbeans or butterbeans.
Whether you calll this a warm peach-burrata caprese salad, or a crostini loaded with warm peaches, corn, limas and burrata, you’ll be calling it AHHH-MAY-ZING!
“Sex is good but not as good as fresh sweet corn.” Garrison Keillor
….and with one taste of this dish, I bet Garrison Keillor might be amending his statement!