RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Basil, Kalamata Olive and Roasted Almond Pesto Burger with melted Brie

There is nothing more rewarding that watching your own herb garden produce such great flavors. Colorado is a great place to grow basil and I have been growing it for many years. Pesto is one of my favorite sauces because it is easy to make, it is packed with flavor and it can be modified in so many ways. This burger puts a spin on pesto using home grown basil, kalamata olives and almonds instead of the classic pine nuts. Coupled with the Brie, all of these ingredients come together to create a flavor explosion you will never forget!

Ingredients 

Patties
2 lbs. freshly ground chuck
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Basil, Kalamata olive and Roasted Almond Pesto
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
12 kalamata olives
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/4 cup Colavita olive oil
3 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil for brushing on the grill rack
1 wedge of brie (Enough to get 6 good slices) sliced in 1/4" slices
6 Ciabatta rolls, split

Instructions 

Preheat Gas grill to medium-high heat

To make the patties, mix the ground chuck with the salt, ground pepper and the red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Careful not to over mix! Shape the meat into 6 patties to fit the rolls. Cover the patties with plastic wrap and set a aside.

To make the pesto, place the basil leaves, olives, almonds, olive oil, parmesan, pepper, salt, red pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar in a blender. Blend until you have a smooth consistency, about 30 seconds. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with the vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and grill 4-5 minutes on the first side. Turn the patties and grill an additional 4-5 minutes for medium. During the final 2 minutes of grilling, place the rolls, cut side down over indirect heat and lightly toast them. During the last minute of grilling, place equal parts of brie on the patties to melt. Brie melts very fast so keep an eye on it. Remove the patties and the rolls from the grill, place them on a plate and prepare to assemble.

To assemble the burgers, place a brie covered patty on the roll bottom, followed by equal portions of pesto. Add the bread tops and serve.

Makes 6 Burgers