As some of you might already know, Cucumber Boats are one of my favorite go-to healthy appetizers, snacks, and party food. I make them often and in so many different ways (check out my Cucumber Boats with Smoked Salmon). This time, I’m making one of my favorite Italian style variations: Cucumber Boats with Burrata Caprese. It’s absolutely colorful and flavorful! Not to mention easy, foolproof and quick to make, which is the ultimate trifecta in the kitchen.
VERSATILE CUCUMBER BOATS
My obsession with cucumber boats started a few years ago when I went on the PALEO AIP diet for the very first time, due to my autoimmune diseases (for more on the subject, read this post). I’m wont to say that my blood type must be G positive, and “G” is for Gluten, of course. You see, I’m an Italian food lover through and through, raised on everything starch, like pasta, pizza, risotto, focaccia, panzerotti, and all kinds of delicious, crusty bread. So, picture me deciding to go cold turkey and embarking on, not just a gluten-free journey, but a grain-free journey! I felt disoriented and forlorn, to say the least, overwhelmed by a sudden identity crisis. Who am I without grains? How am I ever going to make an edible meal without them? These and other depressing thoughts stormed through my head, as I started “recalculating” like a lost GPS. That’s when I figured there had to be alternatives. Simple ones that did not need me hunting for exotic flours and baking for hours. I’ve always loved cucumbers– their savory flavor and the snap in their crunch. With their ridiculously low caloric import (16 calories per serving!), they quickly became a fantastic substitute for bread.
YOUR SHOPPING LIST
Before getting to the shopping list, please take a look at this still life right here. My cucumber boat variation is so Italian, even the ingredients look like the tricolore flag 🇮🇹I mean… Bellissimo!
Alright, that was emotional. Let’s get back to the cart. You’ll need:
- Burrata (mozzarella, if you don’t find burrata)
- Tomatoes (your favorite)
- Basil (must be fresh!)
- Capers (I love non-pareil capers)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Himalayan Salt
- Black Pepper
BURRATA DOES IT BETTER
As I was saying, feel free to substitute regular mozzarella if you don’t find burrata. But… having said that, you’ll want to find burrata because burrata can do this (see photo below).
What is that? That is the extra creamy goodness inside the skin of a burrata. No mozzarella, no matter how fresh, will come close to that. Why? Because burrata is made to have the consistency of mozzarella on the outside, filled with what we call “stracciatella” on the inside (stracciatella is little strings and “rags” of mozzarella mixed with cream). This divine ball of goodness is an original specialty from my own birth region, Puglia, where we make it with cow milk or buffalo milk (latte di bufala). Here in the States, it’s become very trendy in recent years (lucky you!), but I’ve been eating burrata all my natural life (lucky me!).
HOW TO MAKE CUCUMBER BOATS WITH BURRATA CAPRESE
There’s no heat involved. If you have a knife and board, start chopping the tomatoes and basil. Remove the skin and seeds from the cucumber and cut it in half length-wise. Dig out the stracciatella out of the burrata and pile it inside the hollowed cucumber halves. Add the chopped tomatoes and basil on top. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, capers, salt & pepper in a little bowl and drizzle the dressing on top of your boats. Garnish with basil leaves, and… pronto!
You know what I say: if one picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures. Watch how easy and quick it is to make these beautiful cucumber boats!
Here’s the full printable recipe. I hope you’ll give these cucumber boats a try and enjoy them as much as I do.
Cucumber Boats with Burrata Caprese
- 4 Cucumber small/medium
- 1.5 Burrata large
- 2 dozen Grape Tomatoes or substitute your favorite tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Fresh Basil chopped
- 1 tbsp Capers
- 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan Salt
- 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
- Peel cucumber. Cut the cucumber in half and scoop out the seeds
- Fill the hollowed halves with burrata
- Add the chopped tomatoes and basil on top
- Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, capers, salt & pepper in a little bowl and drizzle the dressing on top of your boats
- Garnish with basil leaves
- Serve whole or chopped in bite-size pieces. Enjoy!
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