Sourdough Toasts With Tomato, Pesto, and Burrata Recipe

These light, summery sourdough toasts are topped with fresh tomatoes, rich and creamy burrata cheese, and zesty pesto.

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Toasting the bread before broiling prevents sogginess.
  • Salting and draining the tomatoes draws out excess moisture and concentrates flavor.

Caprese salad and pan con tomate meet in this refreshing summer starter. We top toasted slices of sourdough with the concentrated flavor of grated and strained ripe tomatoes. After a quick trip to the broiler, the toasts are topped with creamy burrata and herbal basil-arugula pesto with almonds. Try this with a crisp and clean beer, like Firestone Walker Pivo Pils, Victory Prima Pils, or Hardywood Park Richmond Lager.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 60 mins
Makes: 8 toasts

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  • For the Pesto:
  • 1 tightly packed cup basil leaves (1 1/4 ounces; 35g)
  • 1 tightly packed cup arugula (1 1/4 ounces; 35g)
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons blanched almonds (3/4 ounce; 20g)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh lemon juice, from about half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, from about half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • For the Toasts:
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes (450g; about 2 large), halved, stem ends cored
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing toasts
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper or small pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 large slices sourdough bread, about 1/2 inch thick each
  • 4 ounces burrata (see note), sliced into small pieces


  1. For the Pesto: In a food processor, combine basil, arugula, garlic, almonds, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pulse until almonds are broken up into fine pieces. Add olive oil and process until fairly smooth. Season with salt. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. The pesto can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

  2. For the Toasts: Using the largest holes on a box grater, shred tomatoes into a bowl. (Hold the tomatoes skin side out and discard the skins after grating.) Stir in olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper or red pepper flakes. Let stand for 10 minutes.

  3. Lightly brush sourdough on each side with olive oil and toast on both sides until lightly browned. (You can do this in a toaster, in an oven, under the broiler, or on a grill.)

  4. Preheat broiler and set top oven rack about 6 inches from broiler element. Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain tomatoes of their excess liquid and reserve the liquid for another use (it's delicious as part of a vinaigrette for a simple salad).

  5. Spread strained tomatoes in an even layer on the toasts. Broil to dry and warm the tomatoes, stopping before the edges of the bread burn, about 1 minute. Cut each toast into 4 even pieces.

  6. Cut burrata into small portions and dollop on top of toasts. Spoon some of the pesto on top. Serve.

Special equipment

Food processor, box grater, fine-mesh strainer


If you can't find fresh, high-quality burrata, fresh mozzarella is a great substitute.

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