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No-Cook Dinner #1: Burrata Salad

There are a few tricks when it comes to no-cook dinners. The first, most important one is get cheesy.

Generally speaking, cheese solves all of my problems, but if we're going to get specific and talk about no-cook dinners focused on cheese, I can do that too. Cheese is perfect uncooked. A good cheese needs nothing but to be eaten. In the summer, Dan and I often eat what he calls "French dinner." This means that we buy a selection of ripe, soft cheeses that we spread on baguette slices as we laugh, talk in transatlantic accents and sip wine without a care in the world. We're not nearly chic enough to actually pull of pretending to be French, so we settle for acting like 1920's expats.

I like to spend all of my money on cheese. It's a terrible habit that I justify by telling myself, "at least you aren't a fool who spends her money on cigarettes or gambling." As a kid, I definitely enjoyed a good Costco cheddar/pepper jack platter at neighbors' parties, but when I moved to New York and there were entire portions of the grocery store dedicated to fromage, I realized that I like like cheese. Oh, and then I interned with a bunch of French girls one time. They told me that the baguettes and cheese I bought were "le shit" and they showed me where to go for the good stuff.

One of my absolute friggin favorite cheeses on this planet is burrata. I love how luxurious it tastes. I started making this burrata salad so I could justify eating it more often. If you ever have a crappy day, stop at the store on the way home and pick up some burrata. Eat it while reclining on your couch and watching a silly TV show that makes you forget about everything-- you'll feel like an emperor for the evening. A glass of chiled sauvignon blanc will elevate the I'm-not-worthy magnificence. Maybe you also put on some winged eyeliner and a silk robe, I don't know, this is hypothetical, whatever.

As you all well know, I like extremely simple dishes. Here's how I make a no-cook, summertime burrata salad:

Cut or spoon the cheese lump in half (I almost Googled the actual word for a blob of burrata, but on second thought I'm cool if "cheese lump" is a term that I've invented). Place it on top of a bed of arugula that's been tossed with salt and a respectful drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Once the cheese is on top, season with a pinch more salt and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes; like the kind you shake onto pizza. If it's that magical time of summer where tomatoes taste perfect, slice one up and toss it in too. But don't feel like you need to get boxed into any pre-conceived notions of what a mozzarella-based salad should be. Eat the other half of the lump for breakfast-- drizzle with honey and top with a few almonds and berries.

I'm sorry if this converts you into a person who now spends all of your money on extravagant nights of at-home cheese-eating. But if splurge on it you do, I think you'll agree with me that this is the meal you'll beg for through the iron gates if you're ever imprisoned for some cheese-related heist.

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