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Strawberry, Burrata and Basil Salad: I Like How She

Strawberry, Burrata and Basil Salad
She’s babbling now. I hear her in the mornings through the baby monitor going “baba baba gagaga dadadada.” I glance at Matt, trying to decide which one of us is going to get up. There is a part of me that strongly believes her first word will not be ‘Mama.’

When I first had Neko, my life became a series of questions. Questions that I suddenly lost the ability to answer myself.

Every time my daughter fussed or cried, I found myself helplessly unclear about what I was supposed to do. I would turn to Matt,

Should I feed her?
Should we try to put her down for a nap?
Should I change her diaper?
Should I dress her warmer?
Do you think she’s cold?

Matt didn’t know the answers to any of these questions any moreso than me, but he was much better about making decisions. Most of the time, he’d say yes.

It wasn’t that either one of us was more prepared to have a baby, but I think I was so scared of ‘doing it wrong’ that I preferred Matt do all the decision-making. I didn’t like the idea of being responsible for upsetting her. Of course it was totally unfair.

Matt got plenty of credit when his decision resulted in a happy little Neko: well-fed, well-rested, sleeping. But he was also constantly faced with making a lot of decisions alone and having to bear the weight of potential failure. I realize that now that my head is clearer. We have crossed the 7 month mark and I feel more relaxed these days.

Strawberry, Burrata and Basil Salad

I’ll take Neko for strolls and to friends’ housewarmings and to the grocery store by myself. I don’t tense up as much when I don’t know what’s wrong; I just try to make a decision and live with it. Sometimes it’s the wrong one, so I change course, knowing that she is not so judgey at this moment in time.

There is a perpetual twinkle in her eye, a go-getter spirit. I do not wish to go back to that time before. No. I like it perfectly well now.

I like how her favorite thing is the anticipation of getting tickled (not actually getting tickled). I like how she grins ear to ear as we start walking to the bathroom for our nightly bath time ritual. I like how she opens her mouth and waves her hands over her head as I spoon freshly-pureed fruits and veggies for her (formula will soon be a distant memory). I (kind of) like how she drops every item I give her to the floor and watches intently, trying to reconcile its existence.

I like how she moans in delight as she eats tiny pieces of strawberry. It is with utmost pleasure.

Strawberry, Burrata and Basil Salad

Strawberry, Burrata and Basil Salad
adapted from Bon Appetit
*serves four

1 8-ounce ball of fresh burrata
1 pint of fresh strawberries, hulled, halved or quartered
handful of small fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
2 tablespoons of toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of good quality olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar

1. Add the balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan and simmer until it’s reduced to a syrup (about five minutes). It should yield about 2 tablespoons. Let cool.
2. Place the ball of burrata in the center of a serving plate. Toss strawberries and basil leaves over it. Scatter walnuts and drizzle with olive oil.
3. Season with salt and pepper and finish with a drizzle of balsamic syrup.

Musical Pairings: Strawberry, Burrata and Basil Salad + Shigeto – No Better Time Than Now

Shigeto - No Better Time Than NowΒ  More on the Turntable.

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • Nicole

    I’m so happy that you’re hitting your stride as a mother to sweet Neko! Burrata is pretty much the best thing ever and I love your idea of surrounding it with strawberries, basil and walnuts. So summery!

  • Thanks, Nicole! It’s a breath of fresh air, compared to those early days. I am living summer through food! The farmer’s markets are out of control right now!

  • Sonja / A Couple Cooks

    Thanks for sharing this insight into motherhood! It’s comforting to hear that “just making a decision and living with it” is part of what it’s all about πŸ™‚ Neko sounds delightful and I hope to maybe meet her someday πŸ™‚

  • Oh, I can’t wait to meet the sweet Neko someday – she seems like a delight!

  • Thank you, Sonja! I think that’s a lesson every mom and dad has to learn very early on. I hope you get to meet her, too. I do believe she is a delight πŸ™‚ x

  • I would love that! We really need to make this SF meetup thing happen πŸ™‚

  • This is such a wonderful post – I hope that you show it to Neko one day xxx

  • Thank you, Kathryn! I hope so, too πŸ™‚ What will the Internet look like then…?

  • Gaby Dalkin

    I want this salad almost as much as I want to meet Neko πŸ™‚

  • I’m absolutely fascinated by motherhood blog posts and love reading about how the little people carry on each day. I can’t get over this image of Neko moaning in delight while eating strawberries– too cute! The salad does look delightful.

  • Aw, thanks lady!

  • She really, truly does moan πŸ™‚ I want summer (and salads like this) to last forever.

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