Fresh burrata is available at specialty food markets and cheese stores. Vincotto (dark, sweet grape must) can be found at the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, Bay Cities Italian Deli in Santa Monica and Surfas in Culver City. To make chive oil, blend 3 tablespoons chopped chives with one-half cup olive oil in a blender; strain. The oil will keep for 1 week, refrigerated.
1 cup sugar
1 cup pecans
1. Heat the oven
to 250 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 1 cup water and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the pecans, reduce the heat to a low simmer and poach until tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Strain the pecans,
discarding the poaching liquid, and spread the nuts in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking pan. Toast until they are crisp, about 30 minutes. Store at room temperature in an airtight container until needed. Makes slightly more than needed for the recipe.
Salad with Champagne vinaigrette
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons best-quality olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 small sweet melon, such as cantaloupe or honeydew (about 5 pounds)
10 cups baby arugula
4 1/2 teaspoons Champagne vinaigrette, or to taste
1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma
1 pound fresh burrata cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
Fleur de sel
1/2 cup roughly chopped candied pecans
3 teaspoons vincotto
3 teaspoons chive oil
1. In a medium bowl,
whisk together the vinegar and one-fourth cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with one-half teaspoon salt, one-fourth teaspoon pepper and the sugar. Adjust seasoning. Set aside. Makes one-half cup vinaigrette.
2. Peel and halve
the melon lengthwise. Seed the melon, and cut each half lengthwise into three wedges. Cut each wedge lengthwise into one-fourth-inch slices. Divide the melon slices among six plates (arrange the slices so that they overlap slightly).
3. Dress the arugula
with 4 1/2 teaspoons vinaigrette, or to taste (it should be lightly dressed). Season to taste with salt and pepper, and divide the salad among the six plates, centering each mound of salad over the melon slices.
4. Divide the prosciutto
into six portions, draping each portion over the salads. Divide the burrata into six portions and mound over each salad. Drizzle a scant one-fourth teaspoon balsamic vinegar and one-half teaspoon olive oil over each portion of burrata. Top each with a pinch of sea salt.
5. Scatter the candied
pecans evenly over the six portions, and drizzle one-half teaspoon each of the vincotto and chive oil around the salads. Serve immediately.