Happy Friday! We are expecting beautiful weather this weekend, which that means grilling – yum! Here is a new take on a classic grill favorite and an Italian appetizer: the hamburger and bruschetta. This burger was inspired by a very similar burger at our favorite diner. Bruschetta is grilled or toasted bread, it is popular with a tomato topping. I believe I have seen tomato “bruschetta” at the grocery store in the vegetable prepared case (near the fresh salsa) basically it is the tomato topping you can put on the bread. You could buy this at the store if you can find it or you can make your own (recipe below). We have a great farm stand down the road and the tomatoes are still good so I opted to make my own. It is quick to make but does need time to drain the water so your burgers don’t fall apart; so you may want to make it the night before if you want to make this for a quick weeknight meal. You can buy pesto or make your own. I actually made a quick pesto as I wanted to use the rest of the basil off my plants since it is about time to clean out my herb garden for the season. I was thrilled at how this burger tasted! What a treat and even better than the one at the diner 😉
Ingredients for the burger:
1 1/4 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup pesto
1/2 cup tomato bruschetta topping (see below)
4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
4 buns – I used rosemary focaccia bread
1 teaspoon salt
Instructions for the burger:
1. Mix ground beef, salt, and tomato bruschetta topping together in a bowl, form into 4 patties and cook until desired doneness (is doneness even a word?)
2. Remove from heat, add a cheese slice to each burger and cover plate of burgers with foil (to enable cheese to melt).
3. Serve on focaccia or bun with pesto drizzled over each burger and these onion straws
Ingredients for Tomato bruschetta topping
1 1/1 pounds tomatoes (about 5)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions for Tomato bruschetta topping:
1. Bring a pot of water to boil; remove from heat and gently place tomatoes in for 1 minute.
2. After removing tomatoes, immediately plunge in cold water (to stop the cooking).
3. Remove the skins of the tomatoes and discard (the boiling makes this much easier)
4. Remove seeds and drain juice from tomatoes (I do this by holding the tomato over a bowl and sticking my finger in each hole on the tomato – it is not pretty but it works). Discard seeds and juice.
5. Rough chop tomatoes and put in a food processor or blender, add minced garlic, chopped onion, olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Process until almost pureed (see below picture for consistency).
6. Place a colander over a bowl and pour in tomato mixture. Let the mixture drain about an hour to get rid of as much water as possible (you could let this sit overnight in the refrigerator if you wanted). Do not skip this step – you will be amazed at how much water drains off (see picture below – this was just after a few minutes of draining, I continued to drain the tomato mixture for longer).
Source: Lindsay Lou original