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Burgers with Chunks of Basil Pesto Butter

Burgers should taste great with a punch of fresh herbs and of course some extra fat, BUTTER. This is my version of an ultimate burger because there’s a chunk of flavored butter (basil-pesto) inside the burger patty and it slowly melts while cooking. While cooking, the basil pesto with its pine nuts, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, garlic will all melt with the butter. It’s a tasty, buttery surprise.


1 3/4 ground beef (15% fat)
6 hamburger buns, split horizontally
2 tsp coarse salt
½ tsp freshly ground Pepper
2 sticks of Salted butter (room temperature)
2 cups of basil (packed) leaves
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of lemon zest
1/4 cup olive oil
6 ¼ slices fresh Buffalo mozzarella cheese (about 8 -10 ounces)
5 oz baby romaine leaves
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
oil soaked rag to grease grill racks


Start off by making the Basil Pesto Butter first. Basil Pesto Butter: Toast the pine nuts over a hot skillet. In a food processor, blend basil leaves, toasted pine nuts, parmesan, minced garlic, lemon zest, and olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the food processor and add the two sticks of salted butter and blend. Spread the basil pesto butter onto parchment paper and roll into 1 inch diameter. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for one hour. Combine ground beef with salt and pepper in a large bowl. Divide into 12 equal patties. Take out the chilled basil pesto butter and insert 2 tablespoons of butter onto one patty and top with another patty. Close the patties to make one ¾ inch patty. Repeat to make a total of 6 ¾ inch thick patties. Start up the barbeque grill onto medium high heat. Grease grill rack with oil soaked rag for a non stick burger. Grill burgers over medium high heat. (5-minutes per side for medium rare) This burger will be extra moist on the inside with a chunk of basil pesto butter. Let burgers rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile grill the hamburger buns until lightly toasted for about 1 minute. Spread buns (bottoms and tops) with basil pesto butter, patties, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, baby romaine leaves. Cover with bun tops. Makes 6 servings.