Burrata with Fried Lemons, Leeks, and Chili Oil

OOOH BABY I love burrata. Cheese enveloping super luscious cream– whoever thought this up is a pure genius. But, I can’t just eat burrata for dinner (I mean I can, but I figured I would gussy it up for y’all). Fried lemons, sauteed leeks, and a generous drizzle of chili oil make this the perfect appetizer to scoop up with lots of crusty bread. Best part is, this recipe is incredibly customizable based on what’s in season. Depending on what you can find, you can easily replace the sauteed leeks with wild mushrooms and sage, roasted squash (fall), or tomatoes and sauteed corn (summer).


  • The chili oil needs at least an hour to infuse, so start early. You can also make it in the morning or the day before. 
  • This recipe will make more chili oil than you will need. The rest can be saved at room temp. Drizzle it on eggs, pizza, pasta– you name it!

Serves 4 as an appetizer


For the chili oil

  • 3 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp chili flakes

For everything else

  • Olive oil
  • 5 very thin lemon slices (full rings), about ½-¾ a lemon. Meyer if you can find it. 
  • 1 tbsp butter 
  • 3 leeks, tops trimmed, thoroughly cleaned, and sliced into rings (about 2 cups)
  • 1 ball burrata 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few sprigs of parsley or chopped chives
  • Flakey salt for finishing
  • Crusty bread, for serving

For the chili oil

  1. In a small pot, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. You want to preserve the oil’s flavor, which changes at high heats. 
  2. Place chili flakes in a small bowl and pour the hot oil over. 
  3. Let sit for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 or more. 


  1. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add enough olive oil to coat. 
  2. Increase the heat to medium high and add the lemon slices. 
  3. Let fry until very caramelized, and then flip. About 1-2 minutes per side. Don’t be afraid of color here! 
  4. Remove the lemons and set aside. 
  5. Reduce the heat to medium and add the leeks along with the tbsp of butter. Saute until soft and golden, 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. While the leeks cook, finely chop 3 of the lemon slices, reserving the two “prettiest” for garnish. 
  7. When the leeks are done, place them at the bottom of a wide bowl or plate. 
  8. Top the leeks with the burrata and cut in the middle to reveal the cream inside. 
  9. Sprinkle with the chopped lemon and drizzle with chili oil. 
  10. Garnish with the two reserved lemon slices, parsley, flakey salt, and lots of black pepper. 
  11. Serve with warm crusty bread.