Help for the home cook: Cory Vitiello’s super burrata salad

Help for the home cook: Cory Vitiello’s super burrata salad

Toronto celebrity chef Cory Vitiello has founded and operated the award-winning restaurants The Harbord Room, THR & Co and Flock Rotisserie + Greens, which opened its sixth location in the city last year. He’s also the Director of Development for Cactus Club Cafe.

Chef Vitiello has also appeared on many food-centric TV shows and is among the 30-plus chefs collaborating with Dairy Farmers of Ontario to create Savour Ontario at Home, a free recipe collection designed to inspire passionate home chefs.

Chef Cory Vitiello

“I always look to use Ontario dairy products first and foremost in my cooking,” Vitiello says. “Not only is supporting our own industries a key factor in my menu planning, but it’s just a superior quality product.”

Case in point: his awesome recipe for an Ontario burrata, Swiss chard and roasted mushroom salad with hazelnuts and fried rosemary. It’s creamy,  comforting, fresh and satisfying all at once.

Ontario Burrata, Swiss Chard & Roasted Mushroom Salad with Hazelnuts & Fried Rosemary

Serves: 4

  • 1 ball of Ontario Burrata (or large scoop of ricotta or Fresh Mozzarella, any soft creamy Ontario cheese will work for this)
  • 10 x king oyster mushrooms, cut into french fry sized strips
  • 1 cluster (usually packaged like this) Shimeji (honey) mushrooms, bases trimmed and broken into 8 smaller clusters
  • 1/2 shallot, sliced
  • 4 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Ontario butter
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, washed with stems trimmed and sliced into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1 piece Belgian endive, sliced into spears
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices rustic sourdough for toasting
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and cracked
  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. In a stainless bowl, toss your mushrooms, 2 tbsp olive oil, shallot and thyme. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. The mushrooms should be dark golden brown and getting crispy around the edges.
  3. While the mushrooms are roasting, place the rosemary sprigs with butter and remaining olive oil in a small pan over very low heat. Fry the rosemary until the sprigs are crispy and brittle, taking care not to burn them. Remove the rosemary, lightly salt it and save for plating; reserve the oil for dressing the greens.
  4. Wash and slice your Swiss chard and toss it together with the endive in a stainless bowl, then lightly dress it with reserved rosemary-scented olive oil, sea salt, pepper and balsamic.
  5. Transfer the greens to a large serving platter. Top the greens with four slices of toasted sourdough that have been rubbed with olive oil and 1/2 the hazelnuts.
  6. At this point, your mushrooms should be nearly roasted. The greens can wait lightly dressed – don’t rush your shrooms. Ideally, these go on straight from the oven, hot and crispy.
  7. Pile the mushrooms in the centre of the dressed greens, nice and high. Crown the mushrooms with the ball of Ontario Burrata (or other soft creamy Ontario cheese) and garnish with the fried rosemary, remaining olive oil, a generous amount of balsamic and sea salt and the remaining hazelnuts.
  8. Finish the dish with a few twists of pepper over the cheese and another splash of olive oil if you feel it necessary.