RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Cilantro Pecan Pesto Burgers

The idea for these burgers came from a love of all kinds of pesto. A local specialty markets makes a similar pesto and I first used the purchased pesto in burgers. Since it is probably not readily available, I practiced to make my own. This is a very moist burger with great flavors that do not overpower the great taste of the beef. My family and friends really liked this very different burger. They are easy to prepare and even making the pesto from scratch, can be prepared quickly.


Ingredients Cilantro Pecan Pesto (for patties and spread)
2 bunches cilantro
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
6 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
3 teaspoons salt, divided, (l for Pesto and 2 for burgers)
4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Zest of 1 lime (Save lime for later use)
1/2 cup Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup Sutter Home White Zinfandel
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons of the prepared Cilantro Pecan Pesto
Oil for brushing on the grill rack
6 whole wheat rolls
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
6 tablespoons of the prepared Cilantro Pecan Pesto
1 large California avocado
Lime that was saved from the Cilantro Pecan Pesto
6 leaves of leafy green lettuce


Directions: Preheat grill to a medium-hot. To prepare the pesto: Remove large stems from cilantro and parsley, rough chop and add to food processor. Chop the garlic and add to the food processor along with 1 teaspoon of the salt (save remaining 2 teaspoons for the burgers) and the parmesan cheese. Zest the lime into the food processor. Start the processor and drizzle the Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil in slowly until fully incorporated. Stop processor. Place a small fireproof skillet on the grill and add pecans to toast for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir constantly and be careful not to burn. Remove from heat and cool. When the pecans have cooled add to food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined but still visible. Refrigerate until ready to use in the patties and the spread. To prepare the patties: place the ground chuck in a large bowl. Finely chop the onions and add to the ground beef followed by the wine, ground pepper, the 2 teaspoons salt saved from the pesto and 4 tablespoons of the Cilantro Pecan Pesto and mix thoroughly. Portion into 6 (six) patties the size of the buns. When the grill is ready, brush with oil. Place the patties on the grill and cook 5 to 8 minutes on each side for medium doneness. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls cut side down on the edges or the back of the grill to lightly toast. While the patties are cooking and the buns toasting, combine the mayonnaise and Cilantro Pecan Pesto for a spread. Slice the avocado around length wise and twist to separate. Remove seed. Slice each half of the avocado into 6 slices while still in the skin and scoop out with a large spoon onto a plate. Squeeze lime juice over slices. To assemble the burgers, remove buns from grill and spread the bottom buns with a tablespoon of the Cilantro Pecan Pesto mayonnaise spread; next place a lettuce leaf, a patty and top with the 2 avocado slices. Spread the top bun with more Cilantro Pecan Pesto spread, add tops and serve.


I would normally have the pecans toasted and ready; however to get in the exact order of, this shows to toast them during the pesto preparation. I hope that I will receive a critique of this receipt.