A Watermelon, Burrata, & Prosciutto Recipe

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burrat2Photo: Courtesy of David Burke Kitchen.
Sometimes we crave a salad, but don't necessarily want to eat a big bowl of lettuce. Renowned chef David Burke of the David Burke Kitchen (inside The James Hotel in Manhattan) found us just the right alternative for hot summer nights. With watermelon, burrata, and asparagus, it's a master combination of flavors on one plate. Add proscuitto, and it could pass as a light main course. Make it this weekend. We guarantee your guests will be quite impressed.

Burrata Salad

Ingredients
12 asparagus spears
3 bunches basil
1 pint canola oil
8 baby beets in different colors
1 cup of quinoa
2 cups water
2 slices fresh burrata
4 slices watermelon (cut into 1-inch-thick, 2-by-4-inch rectangles)
8 slices prosciutto
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tsp espelette pepper flake

Instructions
1. Trim and peel the asparagus, blanch until al dente. Chill in ice water and set aside.

2. Pick all the basil leaves off the stems and blanch the basil leaves very quickly. Then shock in ice water. Remove from the ice bath and remove as much water as possible by squeezing in a towel. Finely chop the basil and blend in the blender on high with the canola oil for two to three minutes. Strain through a cheese cloth.

3. Add a pinch of salt and drizzle of olive oil onto the beets and then wrap in foil. Roast at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes in the oven. Once they cool, remove the skins and quarter them.

4. Bring the two cups of water to a boil. Add the quinoa and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Spread the quinoa on a tray and cool.

5. Once cool, take two cups of the quinoa and season with the basil oil (about four tablespoons), the lemon juice, and salt to taste.

6. Place a piece of watermelon in the middle of the plate, then add about half a cup of the seasoned quinoa on top. Stack the blanched asparagus, prosciutto, and half a piece of burrata on top of that. Sprinkle the espelette pepper on the burrata and place the beets and cherry tomatoes around. Finally, garnish with a few small basil leaves and a drizzle of basil oil.