Smoked Tuscan Burger w/Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Pesto Mayo
by Traci McConnell
(Weaverville, NC USA)
I love Italian food and I love burgers. I wanted to combine the 2 into one delicious dish and here it is, an Italian inspired burger. This is one that my family and I really enjoy. I hope you will as well.
Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Pesto Mayonnaise1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 medium sized garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
ground salt and black pepper to taste
1 pound ground sirloin
1/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, ground
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup BBQ Sauce
1/4 cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 tsp TFM ground salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 (3 by 4-inch) pieces Italian bread, halved lengthwise
6 thick slices smoked mozzarella cheese
Fresh arugula leaves
6 paper-thin red onion slices, separated into rings
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the pesto mayonnaise, combine in a food processor the basil and the pine nuts, pulse a few times.
Add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes; pulse a few
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on.
Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
Add the grated cheese and mayonnaise and pulse again until blended.
Add a pinch of salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Transfer to small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
To make the patties, combine the sirloin, sweet Italian sausage, Parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, BBQ sauce, bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika in a large bowl.
Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well.
Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the patties to fit the bread sections.
When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil.
Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium.
During the last few minutes of cooking, place the bread sections, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with a cheese slice.
To assemble the burgers, spread the pesto mayonnaise over the toasted sides of the bread. On each bread bottom, place an arugula leaf, red onion slice a patty, and another arugula leaf.
Add the bread tops and serve.
Makes 6 burgers.