Red, white and……
You’d think it was Christmas in July.
Nope, just some last-minute 4th of July burgers!
These pesto burgers are going to save your butt.
They please meat eaters and vegetarians and are the easiest burgers are around. No fuss!
If you are seriously low on time you skip the homemade pesto and grab some from the store. Oh, who am I am kidding, making pesto takes no time. The real reason you don’t want to make it is most likely because you do not want to have to wash the food processor. I feel you. I hate that task like no other. So many parts.
I love both burgers.
The grilled mushrooms rule and I prefer them to the chicken, but then there is my mom who hates mushrooms and loves the chicken burgers. I figured I’d just show you both since you would probably like a little something for everyone tonight. It makes it super easy to accommodate all eaters!
The toppings though?
The toppings make the burgers. The melty fresh mozzarella, fresh basil pesto and the marinated roasted tomatoes are incredible. Summer flavors at their best. That is for sure!
So I am keeping this real short. Today is all about grilling, eating and celebrating Americas birthday!
Oh, and if you live outside the US and today is just a Thursday like any other, I would totally celebrate that. I mean Thursday is one day closer to Friday and that is definitely something to celebrate!
- 1 pound ground chicken, turkey or 4 large portobello mushrooms
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- 4 thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- 4 [Parmesan Garlic Zucchini Whole Wheat Focaccia Buns| http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/parmesan-garlic-zucchini-whole-wheat-focaccia-buns/] or whole wheat buns of your choice, toasted
- Marinated Roasted Tomatoes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
Marinate the tomatoes, whisk together all ingredients except tomatoes in a bowl. Add tomatoes and then cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, can even be left overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
After 15 minutes remove garlic cloves and add the halved tomatoes along with the remaining liquids to a baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside.
While the tomatoes marinate and roast, work on the burgers. Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor or blender and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil and process until smooth. Add the cheese and pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the crushed red pepper, if using.
Combine 3 tablespoons of the pesto, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and ground chicken and form into 4 patties. Or if using the mushrooms rub them with about a tablespoon of olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place on grill or skillet and cook on each side until golden and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Once you flip the burgers, or mushrooms, top with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese. Grill until the cheese is melted and the burgers, or mushrooms, are cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Place the burger on the bottom of a bun and top with a generous amount of pesto and a handful of the roasted tomatoes. Add the top bun and dig in!
Happy, happy 4th of July!