Summer means burgers and burgers means you’re the luckiest person alive because you’re about to eat something amazing and delicious. Especially if said burgers are flavored with pesto and topped with fresh mozzarella, roasted tomatoes and fresh basil. You catching what I’m throwing at ya? Classic burger meets everyone’s favorite Italian salad. I’m using the word salad loosely here because there’s no lettuce involved and I’m not complaining about it. Anyhow, where was I? If this burger doesn’t hit you over the head, screaming at you, “THIS IS SUMMER!” Then I don’t know what will. I don’t think I know the answer to that. I don’t think I know you at all. Lucky for us all though, these Caprese Burgers are here to rescue us from the summer heat and cooking conundrum that plagues us all on a week to week basis, “What’s something easy and delicious that I can make for dinner tonight?” I mean, you still have to fire up a grill or heat up a griddle and cook these, but I mean at least you’ll have a burger at the end of it, and isn’t that what we’re all after in the end? A tasty burger that’s out of the box. These are for you.
The first thing we have to work on are the tomatoes. Cut a few tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet (cut side up). Then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Roast in a preheated 400 degree F oven until softened and just beginning to charr, about 18 to 20 minutes.
**Tip: You can roast the tomatoes ahead of time and just reheat them right before you plan on making the burgers, to save some time!**
To make the burgers, in a large bowl, mix together ground sirloin, Italian sausage, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and yellow mustard.
**Note: Because these are caprese burgers after all, and because they kind of have an Italian vibe to them, I thought it would be super delicious to mix the Italian sausage with the ground beef to give it that extra bit of flavor.**
Divide the mixture into four equal pieces and shape each into a 1/2-inch burger patty. Place on a plate or platter, and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Place a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, crush with oil and place the patties on top. Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes on the first side, flip over and continue to cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Cut the mozzarella into 1/2-inch thick slices and place on slice on top of each burger. Pop under a preheated broiler for a few minutes to melt slightly and brown.
Every burger needs a burger, that’s crucial. Whether it’s just ketchup or mustard, you need something. In this case, we’re making a ridiculously simple pesto mayo. You take store-bought mayo and mix it with pesto. It’s that simple.
**Tip: You can take the time to make your own pesto….it’s easy. Or if you’re in a pinch or don’t have a food processor, go ahead and use store-bought instead. No one will know the difference, and I won’t tell them if you don’t.**
To assemble the burgers, toast the buns on a buttered hot griddle or skillet. Spread each half with that easy pesto mayo and then top with a burger patty, two halves of roasted tomato on each and a few fresh basil leaves. Place the top bun on and skewer with a long toothpick to hold it all in place.
If you want a more “refreshing burger” you can totally not roast the tomatoes and just assemble the burgers with fresh sliced tomatoes for that cool factor. You can also just top them with the fresh mozzarella and not melt it! Options here.
So I continue to mention this to you guys, but Saveur Magazine is hosting their annual Food Blog Award nominations right now as we speak. If you have a few minutes to spare, head on over to their site, and nominate your favorite food blogs. If one of your favorite food blogs happens to be mine, and you enjoy the work I put out, I’d be ever so grateful if you nominated The Candid Appetite for either the “Most Inspired Weeknight Dinners” category or “Best Photography.” I promise I won’t harp much longer on this, but I figured why not give it a go?! Thank you so much to all those who have voted! Remember, you can keep voting up until July 19th!
- 4 small to medium vine tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons black pepper
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 pound ground sirloin
- ½ pound sweet or hot Italian sausage
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh Mozzarella
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons store-bought pesto (or homemade)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 brioche buns
- ½ cup large fresh basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper and Italian seasoning. Roast in the oven until the tomatoes have softened, and begun to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the ground sirloin, sausage, Worcestershire sauce, and yellow mustard until evenly incorporated. Try not to over-mix. Divide the mixture into 4 equal pieces and then shape each into a burger patty, about ¾ of an inch thick. Place on a plate or platter and season both sides with the remaining salt and pepper.
- Place a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, crush with oil and place the patties on top. Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes on the first side, flip over and continue to cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Cut the mozzarella into ½-inch thick slices and place on slice on top of each burger. Pop under a preheated broiler for a few minutes to melt slightly and brown.
- In a small bowl, stir together the mayo and pesto until evenly combined. Brush a hot skillet or griddle with butter and place the split buns on and toast. Remove and place on a platter.
- To assemble the burgers, spread each bun half with the pesto mayo and place a burger patty on top of each bottom half. Top with 2 roasted tomatoes on each and a few leaves of basil. Replace the top bun and skewer with a long toothpick to hold in place. Enjoy!