Fabio Viviani has a sandwich recipe to share! The Florence-born cook made a name for himself as a contestant on season 5 of Top Chef, and later on Top Chef: All-Stars, and now he’s known for an array of Italian eateries across the country, as well as several best-selling cookbooks.
That’s why Us Weekly asked Viviani, 39, to share his toasted bruschetta recipe in honor of National Sandwich Month, which spans the entire month of August. The classic open-faced meal is a nostalgic dish for Viviani, and this specific recipe, which features toasted ciabatta, tomato sauce, creamy burrata and homemade pickled shallots, hails from his latest cookbook, Fabio’s 30-Minute Italian.
“Bruschetta — spoken as though the ‘ch’ is a ‘k’ — is a special dish because it can be served with so many things,” Viviani tells Us. “My recipe combines good toasted bread with tomato sauce and burrata, which is the creamy sweet curds of mozzarella.”
And even though Viviani’s flavorful take on the Italian classic also calls for the unusual addition of pickled shallots, the Top Chef alum says the briny ingredient shouldn’t worry anyone. “They’re pickles for beginners,” he explains.
In fact, this recipe is a particular favorite of Viviani’s because of its overwhelming versatility. “This is an app that will go with anything you serve on Labor Day weekend, whether you’re doing a casual grill-out or a dinner party,” he notes.
Check out the complete recipe below and see for yourself!
Fabio Viviani’s Toasted Bruschetta with Fresh Burrata Cheese and Honey Pickled Shallots
Makes 2 to 4 servings
• 4 small shallots
• 3 tbsps honey
• 2 tbsps white balsamic vinegar
• 1 tbsp water
• 1 star anise
• 1 small loaf of ciabatta bread
• 1 cup seeded, diced Roma tomatoes
• 10 leaves basil, chopped
• 10 black olives, sliced
• 8 oz burrata cheese
• Fresh basil, torn
• Grana Padano cheese, grated, for garnish
• Olive oil, for brushing
• Salt and pepper
- Peel the shallots and cut them into thin slices using a mandoline or sharp knife. Combine them in a plastic bag with honey, vinegar, water and star anise. Let this sit for two to three hours to pickle.
- Preheat the broiler to high. Cut the ciabatta bread in half horizontally, brush with olive oil, place on a sheet tray into the oven, and toast lightly.
- In a bowl, mix together tomato, chopped basil, olives and pickled shallots. Set aside.
- Arrange the burrata over the bread; season with salt and pepper to taste. Scoop the tomato mixture on top and garnish with fresh torn basil and Grana Padano cheese.
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