burrata with charred and raw sugar snap peas

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.

this is the best burrata move
drizzled with oil, flaky salt, left to warm up

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.

grated or torn old breadtoasted until crispde-string your sugar snap peasgrill half

Music’s recipe calls for buffalo mozzarella and grilled bread, but I used burrata and pan-fried breadcrumbs but I know she wouldn’t mind because this is very much the energy, the message of the book — to go with the flow. She wants your cooking to begin when you think about what you’re craving, what calls to you at the store or market, the pantry items you keep stocked and then cook vs. setting off to the store with a rigid recipe in mind and hoping you’ll find what you need. I find this quite inspiring and refreshing as a beginner cookbook, a contrast to cookbooks that focus on a core set of recipes or formulas to know when cooking. (There’s no wrong or right of course, just what speaks to you.) Music walks us through six essential cooking techniques that have been around forever and says that if you accept her assurances that all foods can be cooked in a “finite, manageable number of ways, you’ll never again find yourself hesitating over an enticing but unfamiliar ingredient.”

mix with ungrilled half
grilled sugar snap peas and burrata


One year ago: Watermelon Cucumber Salad
Two years ago: Crispy Spiced Lamb and Lentils
Three years ago: Charred Eggplant and Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad
Four years ago: Saltine Crack Ice Cream Sandwiches
Five years ago: Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad
Six years ago: Bowties with Sugar Snaps and Lemon
Seven years ago: Strawberries and Cream Biscuits
Eight years ago: Roasted Peppers with Capers and Mozarella
Nine years ago: Pecan Cornmeal Butter Cake
Ten years ago: Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans
Eleven years ago: Breakfast Apricot Crisp and Dead Simple Slaw
Twelve years ago: Black-Bottom Cupcakes

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Cozy Cabbage and Farro Soup
1.5 Years Ago: Split Pea Soup
2.5 Years Ago: Homemade Irish Cream
3.5 Years Ago: Pull-Apart Rugelach
4.5 Years Ago: Gingerbread Biscotti

Burrata with Charred and Raw Sugar Snap Peas

I finished the peas with more olive oil, mint (or basil), and lemon, and used Music’s suggestion of adding more heat through Calabrian chiles in oil (dried red pepper flakes work too). This alone makes a fancy salad kind of meal, or but grilled chicken sausages or a sheet pan of your favorite meatballs would make it more substantial.

If you can’t find burrata, look for buffalo mozzarella, and if you can’t find that, just fine the freshest that you can. You might find that you want up to a pound of it as it doesn’t spread out into as many bites as burrata. Slice it open (or into a few thick slices, laid out on a plate), and let it warm up if you’ve got the time. It makes a big difference. “In a perfect world, mozzarella will never have been refrigerated, but these are imperfect times,” Music explains, to my delight.

  • 1 8-ounce ball burrata
  • Olive oil, for drizzling and brushing
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Half a lemon
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas
  • 1 to 2 thick-cut slices crusty bread (I’m using miche here)
  • A handful of mint and basil leaves, torn or thinly sliced
  • Chiles in oil or red pepper flakes to serve

Butterfly your burrata: Drain burrata and gently dab dry on a paper towel. Place on serving platter. Begin to cut in half vertically (i.e. into left and right halves) but stop halfway and turn knife sideways (in either direction) and cut out to wall of burrata but not through. Use knife to flip it open onto the plate, then spread the center cream a bit into a flat layer. Repeat on second side. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky salt. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare everything else, or up to an hour, if you have the time. Taking the chill off it is the key for the creamiest insides and best flavor.

Trim/de-string your sugar snaps and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil (or more, to taste), many grinds of black pepper, and sea salt and toss to evenly coat.

Grate or shred your bread with your fingers into coarse crumbs. I omitted my crusts because they were stale and very dark. You want a little shy of 1 cup.

Grill instructions: Prepare your grill for medium-high direct heat.

Make the crumbs on the grill: Place a small cast iron frying pan on a medium-high heat on your grill and place the torn bread and a glug of olive oil inside, enough to dampen the crumbs. Season with salt and cook the crumbs, stirring from time to time, until they’re golden and crisp. About a minute before they reach the perfect color, finely grate the zest of half a lemon over them and stir to heat and combine. Set crumbs aside.

Grill your sugar snaps: Place half your prepared sugar snaps in on a wire rack or grill basket on a grill and grill, tossing occasionally, until charred in spots, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer back to bowl with remaining raw sugar snaps and toss to combine.

Stove instructions: Make the crumbs on the stove by following the above instructions but use a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, the same one you’ll use again for the sugar snaps. Scoop the crumbs out into a bowl to cool.

Blister your sugar snaps on the stove: Heat the large, heavy frying pan you used for the crumbs over high heat. Add half of prepared sugar snaps and cook, tossing occasionally, until charred in spots, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer back to bowl with remaining raw sugar snaps and toss to combine.

To finish: Scatter charred and raw sugar snap mixture over butterflied burrata along with crumbs. Drizzle with more olive oil, flaky sea salt. Add mint or basil leaves and serve with chiles in oil or red pepper flakes to taste.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

56 comments on burrata with charred and raw sugar snap peas

  1. emilyadi

    I am so excited for this! Every year for my birthday I have a burrata and prosciutto feast. (Oddly enough, our cheesemonger says burrata is a seasonal cheese, so it’s hard to find in the winter–who knew?) I can’t wait to try this for my next birthday. I’ll probably need to practice this recipe several dozen times before then…

    1. Ingrid

      This might be because their customers won’t buy burrata in winter, and not necessarily because burrata is unavailable. *used to work at a cheese shop*

      1. emilyadi

        Ah (although I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want burrata in winter!).

        Also, I made a variation on this this weekend and it was great (in place of sugar snap peas, used asparagus, and added sultanas and prosciutto).

    2. barbarasegers2576

      Trader Joe’s carries Burrata year round. It is probably not as good as your cheesemonger’s; however it is better than nothing.

  2. Marcia

    Old family recipe
    For snap peas. Go to Farm Stand.Have kids remove baseball hats. Fill each hat to
    The top with sugar snaps. Proceed to eat peas out of hat. Repeat.

  3. As a former cheesemonger I’m going to be a little annoying and correct you on a small thing with burrata:

    It’s not filled with ricotta. It’s filled with stracciatella, which is a mix of shredded curds/mozzarella and heavy cream. That’s why it’s so flipping good. (And if you can find a cultured version of this instead of one that relies more on acid coagulation, even better.)

    Ricotta was generally “re-cooked” from leftover whey from cheesemaking, if I recall correctly.

    I hope this was helpful! (And the recipe looks utterly delicious.)

    1. deb

      Thanks for clarifying. Weirdly, I knew this! But I went with a definition I found online (and what so many restaurants quote) because I need more faith in my head. I loooove stracciatella and wish more restaurants just served that, since the ball shape is the least interesting part of burrata.

      1. Deb…agreed! I had pure Stracciatella (served with breakfast no less!) for the first time in Tuscany a year and a half ago and it is so amazing! If only there was a way to get it here straight up!

        1. Katrina

          Our local grocery store hand stretches mozzarella daily and also makes burrata. They will sell the stracciatella by itself and it is amazing with fresh tomatoes…would be amazing for breakfast!

  4. Morgan

    This sounds so perfect for summer. And I am thinking that the crouton/breadcrumbs from your kale caesar would be perfect, as they are my absolute favorite way to crouton/breadcrumb :)

  5. Cris S.

    You mentioned shishitos in this and I have some in my fridge. But when I went to your archive, you didn’t have any recipes with/for them. I hope you add one soon (this is said with a grin)!

    1. deb

      I don’t have a recipe because I don’t do a whole lot with them — just blister them like this. Sometimes flaky salt, sometimes yuzu salt. (You can get it a a Japanese market.) So, there’s not much to share. :) They’re easy to grow, though! I find one plant makes almost a whole summer’s supply of them.

    2. Gail Vanderheyden

      Shishitos only require blistering. Each plant produces many peppers, but I would suggest 2 plants per person. They grow really well in central North Carolina. You will want to share the extras. They are overpriced at our farmers markets.

  6. Sue O’Sullivan

    Looks and sounds delicious. But why do you need to butterfly? Isn’t it a lot easier to cut three flat pieces – and if you want leave them side by side? Curious as I always manage to mess up more complicated slicing and folding and flattening processes. Maybe I’m missing the obvious.

    1. deb

      The mozzarella exterior holds the messy center in — I find three clean cuts difficult and more is lost. By making the outer shell the base, you can get it all.

  7. Jane

    So I’d like to make this for a dinner party tonight that I’m not hosting, and wondering if you’d recommend assembling it/reheating it when I get there (e.g. heat the peas and put the toppings on at the last minute) or just say the heck with it and serve it whatever temperature it arrives after transport?

    Regardless this looks sooo good

    1. deb

      However you’d like. You can eat it as a luxe salad-y meal or as a side. We’ve done it both ways. Fork and knife, to cut through the burrata at the bottom.

  8. Sigh…I can’t find burrata anywhere here in Toledo. So I am wondering how terribly difficult it would be to make it from scratch. I found a YouTube video, but it calls for raw milk and raw cream. Can’t get that either (it’s illegal in Ohio). Any suggestions or recipes or websites for help?

    1. deb

      Don’t do it — sounds like too much work. Use a good mozzarella if you can find it, and maybe spread a little fresh or rich ricotta on top. FWIW, commenters are reporting here that burrata can be found these days at both Costco and Trader Joe’s, if you have either around.

      1. LitProf

        Just served this to my husband and my father as part of a belated Father’s Day dinner, and then dessert was your Small Batch Tiramisu. Followed both recipes exactly and everything was delicious. The dads were thrilled and my kids were scraping burrata off their plates to get every last bit.Thank you for the recipes that make every special occasion more memorable in our family!

  9. Kristin

    I saw this in Carla’s book and tagged it; then saw this recipe right before going to the farmers market where they had amazing snap peas and decided it was fate! It was a great recipe – I actually did grilled bread slices (as in the book) because I was feeling lazy but added some lemon zest to the oil before brushing them. I found lovely burrata (but I bet ricotta would be used too, just a thought, to keep the great soft cheese feel). The textural contrast of the peas were great and provided the best of both worlds.

    Overall the perfect late summer meal – my burrata-loving husband scraped up every last bit!

  10. Krystal

    This looks seriously delicious 😍.

    But I really only came here to suggest the alternate title, “peas and cheese” because it sounded delightful in my head (though it certainly doesn’t evoke the same absurdly beautiful mental picture).

  11. Laura

    Anyone in the radius of a Costco can get burrata for a good price, and there are 4 large cheeses per package. Not hard to consume them all during tomato season…

  12. brooklynjen

    Delicious! Combination of the cooked and raw sugar snap peas was fantastic. I didn’t personally think the bread crumbs added anything and thought they distracted from the freshness of the combination and the texture of the burrata – I would skip next time and add the lemon zest to the dressing instead.

  13. Anthony Osude

    This was delicious. Really impressed my dinner guests.. Thanks for the tips given too in the comments section.

  14. Eizabeth

    My husband and I made this yesterday and it was incredible! We didn’t have any bread on hand, so we substituted Panko bread crumbs and it turned out great! Next time, we’ll definitely pick up some bread first since I’m sure that would’ve made it even better.

  15. I made this for Father’s Day dinner….oh, my gosh….it exceeded all of our expectations…….it will most definitely be on the summer dinner rotation for dinner parties!! Love all your recipes!!

  16. Veronica

    This was such an amazing experience to eat. I’ve had burrata only once, and luckily found some at Trader Joe’s so I could try out this recipe. You are my main source for getting more greens in my recipe rotation, and you do that in the most delicious of ways.

  17. Lara

    since your lentil salad with burrata is one of my favourite things to eat in summer (also without the burrata) and my husband loves snap peas, I am pretty sure this is going to receive much love, too!

  18. Margie

    We ate this for dinner last night, and it was so delicious! I tore up the bread into the smallest bits I quickly could. I forgot to get a lemon when I went out for the burrata, so I added a little lemon juice to the bread crumbs when the recipe called for zest, and while I’m sure it wasn’t quite as good, ignorance was bliss. Such a delicious and timely recipe, as I have sugar snap peas like crazy in my garden right now. Thank you!!

    1. Using a small paring knife, and starting on one end, I snip the end and pull off the string on one side. Then I repeat on the other end/side. Sometimes I get strings off both sides and sometimes there’s only one string. No idea why. This method goes quickly and ensures you have nice stringless peas! I hope this helps!

  19. Katrina

    Yum! Made this recipe exactly as written and it was amazing. However, I confess that I preferred the charred snap peas so might be inclined to grill all of them next time…and there will be a next time! Our burrata is made locally and comes in single serving balls so we each had our own personal plate which was lovely and my husband ate his with some grilled baguette. Delicious!

  20. ezachos

    I was so disappointed with this salad, I wonder if the peas I bought were old or something. I spent an hour de-stringing 2 lb of peas (we were having friends for dinner), followed the recipe exactly. Whether the charred or the raw, the peas were mostly too tough to eat—not stringy, but an unchewable piece or skin. How can I avoid this if I try this recipe again? Burrata was fabulous. Bread crumbs nice texture. I used half the amount if herbs, but still, they overpowered the more subtle pea/burrata/bread crumb taste.

    1. Monica

      It sounds like you did get some sugar snaps that were too old, or some shelling peas mislabeled as sugar snaps (assuming it was the pods that were too tough). I’ve gotten some old/tough ones at the grocery store and it’s so frustrating. The peas themselves should be salvageable even if the pods are no good, and maybe look for sugar snaps at a farmers’ market and ask to try one before buying in the future? Good luck.

      1. I haven’t been able to buy sugar snap peas at my usual grocery since the winter because they’ve been tough like that. My mom just tried again last week and they were the same. Even cooking them doesn’t soften them enough to eat. And the peas inside aren’t as plump. It’s so disappointing.

  21. Beth

    Made this last night and WOW! It was so good! I followed the stove top directions.

    I found my burrata at Trader Joe’s, and it did not disappoint. I cut my sugar snap peas in half so they’d be easier to eat. I also didn’t need to take the strings out because mine didn’t seem to have any? Instead of bread crumbs, I had leftover Melba toast crackers that I crushed and then tossed into a pan with some butter and garlic salt.

    I can’t wait to make this again. I bet all sorts of different veggies would be great on top. I might try with roasted asparagus at some point.

    I served it as an appetizer but because we ate the whole thing between two of us, it ended up being dinner. :) Thanks for a great recipe, Deb!!

  22. Sarah

    This was delicious. I skipped the bread crumbs because we were having bread with dinner and don’t feel like I missed them. The finishing of additional salt and mint/basil really made the dish.

  23. Fabulous recipe! Made it tonight as individual portions (using 2oz burrata balls) alongside grilled bone-in center-cut pork chops. Delicious! The crumbs and the herbs (I chiffonaded both mint AND basil) totally make it. I also found that cutting the sugar snap peas into pieces (halves or thirds depending upon size) was better for portions as well as eating. We will be enjoying this combo all summer long!

  24. Made this on the stove with a non-stick heavy bottom pan. Used a couple slices of fresh sourdough that I tore by hand, so they were more like croutons, and worked fine. Also threw in some cooked fresh shelling peas to use up my market haul from last week. The mint and lemon real make this sing and I was glad to have my good olive oil for this!

    Will 100% make this again while I also wait for tomatoes!

  25. Mary Beth Feldman

    This is delicious. We have an abundance of snap peas in the garden right now! (I wouldn’t make this with any snaps other than locally raised, though—-it’s a seasonal delicacy.) I simply crushed some croutons I had already made for the crumbs. Half the recipe feeds two nicely, with perhaps some pasta after.

  26. Vanessa

    I love this idea! I haven’t managed it on sugar snap peas yet, but the butterflied burrata on raw/cooked vegetables is awesome! I just paired it with Deb’s tomato & onion farro from like 2013 and its an amazingly delicious one-pot, low prep/cook/clean during a heat wave summer meal. Thank you!

  27. Rincoglionita

    This has been my official dish of Summer 2019 – I’ve made it at least 10 times now and am about to introduce it to my son, 1000 miles away. It is so quick, easy, and satisfying, and I have yet to get tired of it.

    I prefer it with all of the peas blistered, and I like chiffonaded mint better than basil. I’ve served it on its own as well as with sausages. I also tried it with green beans instead of sugar snaps – *sad trombone*. Off to serve it to my kid now!

  28. DH

    This was delicious BUT I love your recipe for burrata with lentils ten times as much!! If you haven’t tried that one, be sure to check it out.

  29. I made this for dinner tonight with a simple salad, so easy and so good! I had everything on hand for the pasta except basil but I didn’t seem to miss it. This recipe is going into my rotation of weeknight favorites, thanks Deb!

  30. Arraine

    I just doubled this for my wife and I and it was an absolute sensory symphony of taste, texture, and temperature. I almost lost faith in it near the end of the cooking process (“is this too weird?”), but I’m glad I didn’t.

  31. Helen

    Holy moly Deb you did it again. This might be my favorite recipe of yours yet. I did it extremely lazy (broiled snap peas, forgot lemon, chili and breadcrumbs,) and it’s still life changing. This will be my go to app for hosting in the summer!