St. Anselm Invents the Cooked Caprese


The dish is called “grilled tomato and burrata,” but you’ll recognize it for what it really is — a Caprese salad, named after Italy’s Isle of Capri.

You’d think someone would have tried it before, except only the English grill their fresh tomatoes* (maybe as a throwback to the days when they were thought to be poisonous), not the Italians. It took St. Anselm, the reopened grill joint in Williamsburg, to attempt it.

The tomatoes arrive striped from the grill, still steaming, the adjacent hunks of burrata oozing and already slightly above room temperature. Basil is a sturdy leaf, and remains unshriveled. Olive oil lakes the bottom of the plate, with some balsamic vinegar.

The heat unlocks the flavor of the tomato; the burrata makes the warm salad richer than the standard-issue Caprese. Really, I feel like eating another one right now.

*A few others, like the Turks, also do it, but with less enthusiasm.