Sandwich #136–“Thanks for Thinking of Me” Italian Burger with Pesto

By 300 Sandwiches

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DSC_0821“There’s wind tomorrow,” E declared. “We’re going to the beach.”

E planned on going kitesurfing Sunday, which meant my whole day would be spent on the beach in the sun. Fun for him, but I have given up the kitesurfing lessons (too frustrating). Instead, I sit on the beach and watch, clap, take photos and scream, “Whoooo hoooooo!!!That’s MY man right there!” like a supportive kitesurf groupie girlfriend should. Still, a few hours of cheerleading while sand whips against my skin from the fierce winds can be kinda boring.

“How about we rent a stand up paddle board for you, so you can do something fun, too?” E asked me.
“I would like that,” I said, appreciative that he thought of my recreational needs. For this, he deserved a hearty dinner.

We still had pesto left over from when I made those Italian BLTs. Very little of it, but enough that I would be heartbroken if I had to just toss it. Italian mozzarella and pesto burgers were a good summer version of the barbecue staple. I grabbed some fresh parsley too, to mix into the meat (always like to add some green herbs to my meaty burgers, to add vitamins and flavor). I also made a quick salad of arugula, grapefruit and parmesan to add some healthy greens to the meal.

Dinner was served in an hour flat, and after doing the dishes, we were early to bed and early to rise the next morning for our water bound recreational sports.

1 pound ground beef
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 ball mozzarella, sliced
3 burger buns
2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons oregano
1/4 cup pesto (use my recipe)
2-3 leaves basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Herbs de provence
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste

Roast tomatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In another small soup pot, fill halfway with water and bring to boil. Slice an “x” on the top of each tomato with a small knife (this helps you pull off the skin easier after boiling). Plop tomatoes into boiling water, and remove after a minute. Place them in cold water for a second, then remove. In a shallow small pan, pour in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of pan. Peel skins off of the tomatoes, then place in olive oil lined pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, herbs de province, cayenne, and lay a few leaves of basil on top. Drizzle more olive oil on top, and pop in the oven for about 30 minutes.

For the burgers: Mix parsley, salt, pepper, oregano, Worchestershire sauce and ground beef into a large bowl. Mix well, then form into three patties. In a medium nonstick skillet, cook burgers on medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Remove and set on paper towel-lined plate to sop away excess grease.

Remove tomatoes from oven. Toast buns for about a minute or two in stove. Remove and assemble burgers. Slather pesto on both sides of buns. On bottom bun, layer a slice or two of mozzarella, burger, and a heaping spoonful of tomatoes. Layer a leaf or two of basil if desired. Cover with top of bun and serve. Makes three large burgers (or four slider size burgers).

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