Caprese Burger with Artichoke Pesto Sauce

This caprese-salad-style burger is packed with fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomato. A balsamic glaze and pesto sauce kick things up. It’s like an awesome mashup of 2 iconic summer meals.

Caprese Burger with Artichoke Pesto Sauce | thefoodcharlatan.com

“No, you can’t have any tape.”

Probably the worst sentence you can hear in a post office, right? Especially when your kids are busy pulling every last greeting-card off the carousel behind you.
Caprese Burger with Artichoke Pesto Sauce | thefoodcharlatan.com
I was pretty grumpy as I bought my $3.29 packing tape. Apparently having to buy overpriced tape is all it takes to make me join the evil forces of Grumpy Post Office Customers.
Caprese Burger with Artichoke Pesto Sauce | thefoodcharlatan.com

As I struggled to peel the invisible end of the tape off the roll, this post office employee came out from behind the counter. I couldn’t understand his Asian accent very well. (Is that not politically correct? If it makes it any better, I suck at understanding ANY accent. I even have trouble watching Sherlock. Yes, English, I know.)

He took the tape out of my wrist-braced, tendonitis-weakened hands and peeled the end up. He handed it back, talking the whole time (about his son, and going to the dentist, and pretty much everything), then he took out his phone and started showing my kids pictures of his son, and telling Charlotte not to eat too much candy because she will get cavities.

Caprese Burger with Artichoke Pesto Sauce | thefoodcharlatan.com

On my way out Truman threw a fit. I had to set everything down to pick him up. The guy came over again, pointed at my wrist, and told me to rest my arm as much as I could. “My wife had carpal tunnel. It will go away. It’s the hormones.”

Faith in humanity: officially restored. This guy didn’t just go out of his way. He went WAY out of his way. He really made a huge difference in my day.

Sometimes it’s awesome being human. (And I’m still cracking up over the hormones comment.)

Caprese Burger with Artichoke Pesto Sauce | thefoodcharlatan.com

On to the recipe! This may look intimidating but it’s really not bad. There are only 6 ingredients in the actual burgers. My basil plant it going crazy, so I’m adding it to everything. Put on as much or as little as you like. Do NOT skip the balsamic glaze though! Or the Artichoke Pesto, for that matter. It’s just pesto, artichoke hearts, and mayonnaise, but I’m telling you, it’s amazing.

I fed these to my friend Scott last week while he was diagnosing me with tendonitis (I bribe my doctor-friends with food), and right in the middle of his sentence he stopped talking. “This is the best burger I have ever put in my mouth.” I think it’s got to be on my top-5-burgers-list too. You just can’t beat those summer flavors.

Come back next week for a very fun and different giveaway! It’s a kind of giveaway that I’ve never done here on the bloggy-blog, so I’m excited for you guys to see it! 

Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Caprese Burger with Artichoke Pesto Sauce

Yield: 4 large burgers

Ingredients

    For the burgers:
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used 80/20)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, minced (or more to taste)
  • For the Artichoke Pesto Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup quartered artichoke hearts (mine were from an un-marinated can)
  • 1/2 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • To assemble:
  • 4 large hamburger buns*
  • butter, to spread on the buns
  • 8 thick slices of fresh mozzarella
  • romaine lettuce leaves (or any kind)
  • 1-2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • fresh basil, to top burgers with
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Make the burgers first. In a large bowl add ground beef, red wine, salt, pepper, garlic, and minced basil. Use your hands to combine the mixture. Just do it. A spoon won't work as well. Mix only until it is just combined. If you work it too much the meat will get tough.
  2. Form the meat into 4 patties. Use your thumb to make a gentle indentation in the center of each one. (see photos). Set aside. Heat your grill over high heat.
  3. Now make the Artichoke Pesto. Add the artichoke hearts, pesto, and mayonnaise to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Transfer to a serving dish and set aside.
  4. Transfer the hamburgers to the hot grill. (No need to oil it). Cover and grill for about 5 minutes, then flip each one. Grill for another 3 minutes, then top each patty with 2 slices of mozzarella cheese. Cover and continue to grill for about 2 minutes. When the burgers are done and the cheese is melted, remove from the grill.
  5. Spread butter on each inside half of the hamburger buns. Grill the buns, butter side down, for just a couple minutes until they get to your desired crispiness level.
  6. Meanwhile, make the Balsamic Glaze. Add the balsamic vinegar to a small pot and set over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Try not to choke on the smell. It will bubble and thicken. When it is syrupy and has reduced to about 3-4 tablespoons, remove from heat. If your hamburgers aren't ready yet, leave it on the burner over the lowest setting. It needs to be warm when it is drizzled over the burgers.
  7. To assemble the burgers, spread the Artichoke Pesto on one or both sides of the hamburger bun. Add the hamburger, then add lettuce, tomato, and fresh basil. Drizzle with Balsamic Glaze, then top with the other bun. Enjoy the mess!

Notes

These make great meatless hamburgers. Skip the bun and wrap in lettuce.

http://thefoodcharlatan.com/2014/08/19/caprese-burger-recipe/

Source: The Food Charlatan

Caprese Burger with Artichoke Pesto Sauce | thefoodcharlatan.comUse your hands to combine the meat. It’s gross but it works better than a spoon.

Caprese Burger with Artichoke Pesto Sauce | thefoodcharlatan.comIt doesn’t matter what kind of wine you use. I went to the store and told the clerk to find me the cheapest, smallest box of wine he had. Just use whatever you have.

Caprese Burger with Artichoke Pesto Sauce | thefoodcharlatan.comPut an indentation in the center of the burgers. This helps it from getting too thick in the center.

Caprese Burger with Artichoke Pesto Sauce | thefoodcharlatan.com

Caprese Burger with Artichoke Pesto Sauce | thefoodcharlatan.comI used pre-sliced mozzarella.

Caprese Burger with Artichoke Pesto Sauce | thefoodcharlatan.comDon’t forget to toast your buns. It makes it!

Here are some more rockin’ burger ideas:

Asian Salmon Burgers with Wasabi Mayonnaise

Asian Salmon Burgers with Wasabi Mayonnaise

Black Bean Burgers with Sriracha Mayonnaise

Black Bean Burgers with Sriracha Mayonnaise

The Juiciest Mediterranean-Style Burger with Creamy Feta-Curry Dressing from The Noble Pig

Eggplant Burgers with Honey Beer-glazed Caramelized Shallots from Eats Well With Others

Sweet and Smoky Bacon Brat Burger from Melanie Makes

Queso Burgers from The Recipe Critic

Comments

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Comments

  1. Sarah says

    Oh my GOSH. Yes please. That is an awesome way to use artichoke hearts; I would never have thought of that. This is so tempting. Usually I feel so lazy about toasting buns, but it is so much better, and I never thought to just toast them on the grill! Why not!

  2. says

    So I’m thinking take the artichoke pesto sauce, swap out the mayo for cream cheese, and use it to stuff mushroom caps. (I’m obsessed with the ‘shrooms. It’s all one eternal circle around the ‘shrooms.)
    Ami recently posted…An overdue chat.My Profile

  3. says

    Ummm isn’t that rude? No tape at the post office? I’ve been told that news before, and yes, had to buy the stupid tape hanging up in the back. So sweet that other nice man lifted your spirits. There ARE good people in this world aren’t there? :) These caprese burgers are like caprese burgers on steriods. (In an AWESOME way!) Dying over the artichoke pesto and balsamic drizzle, so gorg.

  4. says

    A trip to the post office can be a real test of patience. I always thought it was so weird they don’t have tape for you to use. Who has packing tape on them anyway, unless they just moved? I’ve found a little work around. If I bring the package in using crummy scotch tape, they usually use their good packing tape to reinforce it. Win! Glad that guy was so nice in helping you. Love that!

    This burger looks AMAZING!
    Natalie @ Tastes Lovely recently posted…Tropical Mango Papaya Fruit SalsaMy Profile

  5. says

    Now that’s a combo fit for summer, which means I have to get my butt in gear and throw these on the grill before everything pumpkin-spiced and sweaters take over my life once again.
    I knew I would be able to get a good laugh by coming over here. You crack me up, lady!

  6. Alicia Halladay says

    We had this for dinner tonight in honor of your birthday. It was delicious!! I really really loved the artichoke pesto mayo and the balsamic vinegar.
    Happy Happy Birthday! I hope Eric is cooking for you today. :)

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