Tag Archives: Arugula

Appetizer Salads Side Dishes Vegetarian Meals

Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad

Is it me or is burrata everywhere right now? Whenever we go out to eat it seems to pop up on the menu.

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Not that I am complaining! I adore this creamy cheese. It seems to pair well with just about anything!

My favorite burrata salad to date was at Rustic Canyon, a restaurant in Santa Monica we tried last weekend. The textures were on point, the flavors blended together perfectly, and it wasn’t overly dressed (a crucial one for me).

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Because I just can’t get enough of this cheese, I set out to recreate a similar dish at home. Many people recommend using stale bread for Panzanella salads. I personally don’t understand that because you’re going to toast the bread anyway, so I used two fresh multi-grain rolls from Whole Foods and the result was delicious. I recommend a good crusty bread here  like ciabbata or french bread.

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

There are few ingredients in this salad, so the key is to make sure the ones you do use are good quality and flavorful. I used a delicious farmer’s market heirloom tomato and a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon Balsamic vinegar my brother and sister-in-law bought for me in Napa Valley.

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This burrata panzanella salad is a perfect appetizer or side dish for spring and summer. (Can you believe it is the middle of March already?)

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travis and I sat at the table, each with a fork in our hand, and dug right in. I particularly  loved the bites of bread soaked in yummy balsamic, but that is probably because I am a carboholic…


Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2-3
  • 2-3 cups Baguette or other crusty bread (cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • Cooking Spray
  • 4oz Burrata
  • 2oz Baby Arugula (about 3 large handfuls)
  • 1 large Heirloom Tomato (chopped into 1 inch pieces)
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Set oven to broil on High. Lay the bread cubes on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Broil for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  2. Place the burrata ball at the bottom of a medium bowl. Arrange the arugula, tomato, and bread cubes around the burrata. Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a pinch of both the salt and pepper. Drizzle the balsamic mixture over the burrata salad. Mix together gently to coat. Let sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Gluten-Free Salads Vegan

Roasted Pear and Fennel Salad

This past week I took a nice solid detox away from everything.

I flew back to the East coast for a wonderful week of relaxation with my parents. I don’t get to go home as often as I would like, so when I am home, I try to savor every moment of it.

This trip I split my time between Boston and Maine, which was very special because I haven’t been to our home in Maine since before I moved to Los Angeles (a year and a half ago!).


While I was home, I got to see some of my best friends: Amanda, Gabby, and Jenni. They all live in Boston, so I am always so appreciative for the time I have with them when I come home. The time always goes by too fast, though!

It was especially nice to be home with this little cutie:


Diesel was quite spoiled this holiday season. He got some new toys and a pretty badass new sweater. He was pretty thrilled about them. He is one of the few dogs I know who actually enjoys wearing sweaters and jackets (as opposed to constantly trying to paw them off). Since he is so small, he gets cold  easily during the winter, so I think he appreciates the added layer!



How cute is his little nub of a tail?


As I have mentioned before, one of my favorite parts of going home is the chance to cook with my dad. Whenever I come home, he always has a new recipe or kitchen gadget he is excited to show me. I always love the opportunity to learn from him.

My dad made a version of this Pear and Fennel Salad before and raved about it.  It sounded delicious to me and since we had a pear and some fennel in the fridge, we decided to make it again and just invented the rest by adding other ingredients we had in the kitchen. The end result was delicious!

Roasted Pear and Fennel Salad Recipe -- perfect for winter! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I have used chopped pears into salads before, but never roasted them first. After trying this salad, I will always roast my pears in the future. It really brings out the natural sweetness in the fruit and makes the slices almost melt in your mouth!

What really made this salad, though, was a wonderful Cranberry Pear Balsamic that my parents picked up in Arizona. We just sprinkled the balsamic by itself (no oil!) onto the salad and it was simply perfect. I urge you to try and find this balsamic (or something similar). If you can’t find it though, don’t worry. You can still make this salad and substitute another white balsamic in its place.

Roasted Pear and Fennel Salad Recipe -- perfect for winter! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This was a wonderful winter salad. I know I will make this many more times over the coming months. It is easily adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. You can use spinach in place of arugula, raisins instead of cranberries, pecans instead of walnuts, the list goes on.

If you make this, let me know what combinations you try!


Roasted Pear and Fennel Salad
  • 1 unpeeled pear, halved, and then cut into ⅛ inch slices
  • 1 fennel bulb, stems, cores and tough outer layers removed, then cut in half and sliced lengthwise into ⅛ inch thick half-moons
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup walnuts, toasted*
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 3 large handfuls of arugula
  • Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar (or another White Balsamic of choice)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the fennel and pear slices on the baking sheet, arranging in a single layer. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over the fennel and pear. Roast for 20-25 minutes until golden brown at the edges. Watch carefully as to not burn. Remove from the oven and allow the fennel and pear slices to cool.
  2. Arrange a medium salad bowl with the arugula at the bottom. Then add the cooled pear and fennel slices. Sprinkle the cranberries and toasted walnuts on top. Then serve with the Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar.
* To toast the walnuts either place them on a separate baking sheet in a single layer and toast in the oven while the pear and fennel are roasting for about 5 minutes (watch them carefully because they will burn quickly). OR heat a medium skillet to medium-high heat and add the walnuts. Toast for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly. The walnuts will be done when they turn a darker shade of brown and you will be able to smell them toasting.