The Cheese Whisperer: Cheesy Zoodles

Burrata. Source: belgioioso.com

Summertime is quite the occasion to enjoy fresh cheeses like mozzarella and its cousin Burrata. This Italian-style cheese’s name means “buttered” in Italian. Its outer shell is made from mozzarella, and its center contains soft straciatella, or cream. Burrata is sold in a plastic bag or container, often packed with mild brine to retain moisture, and it’s a creamy delight.

Burrata has a rich, buttery flavor with a fresh, milky texture. Best eaten within 24 hours of opening, burrata pairs nicely with green salads, cured meats, crusty bread, fresh tomatoes, and pasta. Visit the Co-op’s Specialty Cheese Island to find a seasonal infused Belgioioso Black Truffle Burrata.

Now is also the time to revel in seasonal squash. Fresh deliveries of local and organically grown squash arrive each day at the Co-op’s Produce Department. Look for green and yellow zucchini from Skagit Flats Farm, and Romanesco zucchini from Whatcom-based Moondance Farm.

Enjoy zucchini in soups, stews and vegetable roasts. Or transform zucchini into noodles, also known as “zoodles.” Because zucchini is 95% water, zoodles can quickly turn to mush if overcooked. To avoid this, eat your zoodles raw or lightly sauteed until al dente. Check out this mini-resource guide – How to Make and Cook Zucchini Noodles: the Most Popular Methods – to help you navigate different styles. Zoodles are a mild flavored pasta alternative. Simply add your favorite sauce, herbs and cheese – and you’ve got an elegant and healthy appetizer or meal.

Read on for a favorite recipe that combines the silky texture of Burrata cheese with the earthy flavor of gluten free zucchini noodles. A harmonious combination of vegetable and cheese: Zucchini Alfredo makes a tasty salad course or main meal, any night of the week.

Zucchini Alfredo with Burrata

Recipe adapted from damndelicious.net

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound (3 medium-sized) zucchini, spiralized
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 tbsp. cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 8 oz. Black Truffle Burrata

Directions:

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and heated through, about 3-5 minutes; set aside. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the saucepan. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.

Gradually whisk in milk, thyme and oregano. Cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in half and half and Parmesan until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk as needed; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Stir in zucchini and gently toss to combine. Plate zoodles in a large bowl, garnish with parsley. Gently place burrata atop zoodles and slice open. Stir carefully and serve each serving with a generous amount of creamy burrata. Serve immediately.

By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.