Friday, June 14, 2013

Pesto & Roasted Red Pepper Cheeseburgers

This is my version of the Italian cheeseburger. You start off with crispy ciabatta, spread it with fresh arugula pesto (check out my recipe HERE!), add some sliced roasted red pepper and mozzarella cheese and you are good to go. I cheated and bought jarred roasted red peppers, but check out this post for an easy way to make your own. This burger is two-hander with the best of them. Be sure to have plenty of napkins laying in wait for when that pesto comes dripping out.

Recipe yields 6 burgers

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp seasoned salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes (this adds a great kick to the burger itself)
1 loaf ciabatta bread (or any bread of your choice, you can also go with rolls here)
1/2 cup Arugula Pesto
6 slices roasted red peppers
6 slices mozzarella cheese

In a large bowl, mix together the ground meat with your spices. Mix with your hands to evenly distribute the spices.

Place the meat on a sheet of aluminum foil. Cover with foil and roll into a log shape. This will help to make all your burgers the same size!

Unwrap the foil and slice the log into burgers, about 3/4"-1" wide. Remember, the burgers will slim while they cook, so you might want to make them on the larger side. Helpful Hint: To prevent the burgers from bubbling in the middle, create a shallow dip with your thumb. This way, when the middle bubbles up, it will even out with the rest of the burger.

Add a drop of oil to a hot pan and add your burgers. Let them sizzle on high heat without moving them to get a nice char on the bottom before flipping them over and doing the same thing to the other side. Lower the heat and cook until the insides are done to your liking.

In the meantime, slice your mozzarella.

Once the burgers are done, remove to a dish and set aside until ready to assemble.

Slice open your bread and place under the broiler for 4-5 minutes to get nice and toasty.

Once the bread is crisp, it is time to assemble. Spread one side of bread with the pesto. Place the burger on the other piece with a slice of cheese and a piece of roasted red pepper.

Top it all off with the pesto bun and you have a delicious burger packed with flavor and texture. Serve with fries or chips and enjoy!