Chef's Recipes

Burrata, preserved zucchini, green olives and lovage

This light starter makes the most of summer produce while offsetting the creaminess of burrata with a light pickle and olives. It's a simple yet crowd-pleasing dish.

By Dave Verheul
  • Serves 10
  • 25 mins preparation plus pressing
Burrata, preserved zucchini, green olives and lovage by Dave Verheul

"This preserved zucchini is inspired by a recipe by Melbourne doctor and Italian preserving aficionado Pietro Demaio, and is the perfect way to preserve summer zucchini," says Dave Verheul. Start this recipe two days ahead to press the zucchini.

Ingredients

  • 100 gm Sicilian green olives, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1½ tbsp lovage leaves, coarsely chopped (see note)
  • Finely grated rind of ½ lemon
  • 2-3 burrata (about 250gm total)
Preserved zucchini
  • 750 gm (about 9) small green zucchini, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 20 gm fine salt
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) white vinegar
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) champagne vinegar
  • 2 small garlic cloves, bruised
  • 1½ tbsp oregano
  • Finely grated rind of 1⁄2 lemon
  • 300 ml olive oil

Method

  • 1
    For preserved zucchini, toss zucchini and salt in a bowl, top with a bowl of the same size, and place something weighing around 1kg on top (a bowl filled with a litre of water works well). Refrigerate overnight. Drain off the liquid, then add vinegars and repeat pressing process overnight. Drain again and squeeze zucchini to remove as much liquid as possible. Combine in a container with garlic, oregano and lemon rind and cover with olive oil. Refrigerate until needed. Zucchini will keep for 1-2 weeks.
  • 2
    Drain most of the oil off the pickled zucchini and stir in olives, lovage and lemon rind. Drain whey from burrata and served with preserved zucchini.

Notes

Lovage can be found at farmers' markets or specialist greengrocers; if it's unavailable substitute flat-leaf parsley, celery leaves or small rocket leaves.

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  • Author: Dave Verheul