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Burrata with chargrilled grapes and basil

Starter Summer
Serves 6 as a generous starter
Featured in
Simple cookbook

Burrata – which means ‘buttered’ in Italian – is one of life’s great pleasures. The outside is firm mozzarella, the inside an oozy combination of stracciatella and cream. The combination of the two is unsurprisingly good. Burrata can be paired with all sorts of flavours – citrus fruit or juice, sweet balsamic, peppery rocket, toasted spices. Here sweet red grapes are skewered and chargrilled: a method which is as simple as it is impressive. If you want to get ahead, marinate the grapes in the fridge for up to 1 day before grilling. If you can’t get hold of burrata, balls of buffalo mozzarella make an absolutely fine alternative.


About 320g seedless red grapes, pulled off their vine
2 tbsp valdespino vinegar (or other best-quality sherry vinegar)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1½ tsp soft dark brown sugar
1½ tsp fennel seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
3 large balls of burrata or buffalo mozzarella (600g)
6 small red or green basil sprigs (5g), to serve
flaked sea salt and black pepper


  1. Put the grapes in a medium bowl with the vinegar, oil, garlic, sugar, 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds, ¼ teaspoon of flaked salt and plenty of pepper. Mix well and set aside.
    Skewer the grapes on to sticks; you want about five or six on each stick. Don’t throw away the marinade: you’ll need this when serving.
  2. Place a chargrill pan on a high heat and ventilate your kitchen well. Once hot, add the grape sticks in batches and grill for about 2–3 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove from the heat.
  3. When ready to serve, tear the balls of burrata in half and place one half on each plate. Arrange the grape sticks to lean against them – two per portion – and spoon 1½ teaspoons of the marinade over the cheese. Alternatively, arrange on a platter to serve a crowd. Sprinkle with the remaining fennel seeds, garnish with a sprig of basil and serve.