Do you ever try something at a restaurant and say to yourself - I must make this? I do all the time. Recently I was in Chicago for a business trip and we had cocktails and dinner at Siena Tavern. It was a extremely humid and rainy night in Chicago where you could cut the air with a knife. Despite the weather, which being from California this was not the norm for me - the vibe in this Top Chef, Fabio Viviani created restaurant was extremely cool. It had concrete floors, rustic decor and hip music being piped through everywhere. Although a bit loud, we enjoyed cocktails at the bar with friends. I had an aviator and a last word - don't typically swing out with a couple cocktails at once, it was a fun treat. The bartender was hip and cool and make some darn good drinks.
When our reservation was ready, we headed to the dining area. The menu was extensive, which made it challenging to choose from. We finally decided on the Burrata with Tomato Jam. I am a sucker for anything with tomato jam. This appetizer was simply divine. Between the creamy burrata and the slightly spicy jam and grilled bread, each bite was heaven in your mouth. We then shared a beet and kale salad, truffled gnocchi and a halibut dish. I certainly wish they had this restaurant in the Bay Area. How about it Fabio - do you want to open up here?
Of course, I had to make this tomato jam and burrata for a Friday Night Bite evening. The jam is simple to make, you just need to allow a bit of time to curate the jam. Once it has thicken up and cooled, you are ready to enjoy this delightful and tasty appetizer. Get ready to be hooked and make this over and over and over again.
Tomato Jam with Burrata
1 lb. Roma Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 T. Fresh Ginger, peeled and minced
1 1/2 t. Cumin
1/8 t. Ground Cloves
1/4 t. Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 t. Salt
2 T. Lime Juice
1 t. Red Wine Vinegar
10 Grinds Fresh Pepper
Add all of the ingredients to a medium skillet. Stir to combine and periodically during cooking process. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until thickened. Let cool to room temperature.
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 T. Lemon Zest
Cook both olive oil and lemon zest in a small pan over low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Spread onto a platter or plate the cooled tomato jam, top with large ball of burrata, then drizzle the lemon oil on top and garnish with micro greens or chives. Sprinkle with Fleur De Sel. Serve with your favorite crackers or grilled pieces of bread.