Heirloom tomato and burrata salad with balsamic cinnamon reduction

Burrata is Italian for “buttered,” and it’s basically a type of mozzarella with cream inside. This summer salad is one the kids will love too!

If you haven’t tried it before, you’re going to flip over burrata. The word is Italian for “buttered,” and it’s basically a type of mozzarella with cream inside. Kids love it, too! Like any mozzarella, burrata pairs perfectly with tomatoes, making this a perfect summer salad.

Heirloom tomato and burrata salad with balsamic cinnamon reduction

Serves 4-6



  • ½ loaf sourdough bread, crust removed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • 12 ounces balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)


  • 1½ pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil, most leaves minced and a few whole for garnish
  • Minced leaves of 3 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces burrata, cut into wedges



Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Tear the sourdough into 2-inch cubes. In a large bowl, toss the cubes with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Squeeze each piece to make sure it absorbs the oil. Spread the cubes evenly on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the croutons from the oven to a large plate and set aside.


Combine the vinegar and the cinnamon stick in a medium heavy pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and reduce the liquid by half, about 10 to 12 minutes. (The liquid should be slightly syrupy, but watch that it doesn’t burn or become gummy.) Remove from the heat.

Stir the chili powder, brown sugar and salt and pepper into the reduction. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add a splash of lemon juice to brighten the flavor, if desired. Remove the cinnamon stick and discard. Cool the reduction completely.


Combine the reserved croutons, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, basil, oregano and olive oil in a large bowl and toss gently. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Place the salad on a serving platter, and arrange the burrata wedges evenly around the salad. Drizzle with the reserved balsamic reduction and garnish with the whole basil leaves before serving.


Variation for kids:

Let it bloom! Transforming salads into flowers gives kids a chance to connect with what they’re eating in a fun and satisfying way. It is the best way to re-create a garden on the plate and is the next best thing to picking the vegetables and eating them in the garden.

Serves 2


  • ½ pound heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
  • 6 small fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup sourdough croutons (see recipe above)
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella balls or pearls, or whole fresh mozzarella, cut into large cubes
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 whole fresh chives, cut into 10 pieces of equal length
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey


On a large plate arrange the heirloom tomato wedges so that they resemble flower petals. Build stems using the basil leaves. Create a flowerpot or earthy soil out of the croutons. Next, decorate the middle of each flower with a few pieces of mozzarella.

Make little bugs from the cherry tomatoes. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, arrange them on the plate and attach 2 chive pieces to each to form antennae.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, olive oil and honey and stir well. Drizzle this dressing over the top of the salad and let your kiddies go to town!

Courtesy Dean McDermott
The Gourmet Dad

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