This Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Salad recipe is from one of Puerto Rico’s best chefs, Mario Pagán. He owns three of the finest restaurants in San Juan: Chayote, Lemongrass, and Laurel which is his newest concept inside the Museum of Art in San Juan. Mario’s passion for cooking began from childhood as he watched his mother prepare Caribbean style cuisine in his childhood home in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
He originally was going to be an architect but on his third year of architectural school, he decided to follow his passion for cooking and applied to the prestigious Johnson & Wales University. Before he opened his restaurants he spent several years in Miami working for the top restaurants in the city: The Grand Café in The Grand Bay Hotel, Bugatti, Tamarind Restaurant and Norman’s New World Cuisine.
Next time you host a dinner party try this Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Salad recipe, your guest and yourself will thank you.
Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Salad Ingredients for 1 Serving
- 250ml Balsamic Vinegar (for reduction)
- 50g Sugar
- 3 Cubes of diced, ripe Watermelon
- 1 pc Burrata Cheese
- 3 Assorted Heirloom Tomatoes cut into wedges
- Maldon Salt, to sprinkle
- 1 Fried Basil Leaf
- 28g Cilantro Pesto
Reduce the balsamic vinegar with the sugar on medium-high heat until reduced to a syrup consistency and still pourable. Set aside to cool. Prepare the cilantro pesto the same way as you would a regular basil pesto (fresh basil leaves, parmesan cheese, olive oil, toasted pine nuts, salt & pepper) but change the leaf mixture to 3 parts cilantro and 1 part basil. Set aside until ready to use. To prepare the plate, drizzle the balsamic syrup around the base of the plate and place a piece of drained burrata cheese in the center. In a bowl, gently toss the tomato wedges and watermelon with a bit of cilantro pesto. Arrange the pieces around the cheese. Drizzle more of the pesto over the cheese, watermelon, and tomatoes and sprinkle the Maldon salt over the works. Finish the dish by garnishing with a basil leaf that has been fried crispy in oil.
Mario Pagán on Windstar Cruises Cooking
Windstar Cruises had the honor of having Chef Mario Pagán on one of our voyages teaching our staff how to execute his dishes to perfection. Take a behind the scenes look at the process in the gallery below.