RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Midwest Garden Caprese Sirloin Burgers

Like a Michigan summer, locally grown tomatoes and zucchini are worth the wait. Here the two are paired with juicy burgers seasoned with crushed pretzels and basil pesto. Grilled to perfection the burgers are placed between lightly toasted ciabatta rolls on top of juicy tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella - all a natural pairing along dressed mixed greens. Grilled onions and zucchini add sweetness and using the crushed pretzels mean use you can use less salt.

Ingredients 

BURGERS:
2 pounds ground beef from sirloin or chuck (freshly ground from a well-marbled piece if possible)
1/2 cup crushed Synder's honey mustard-onion pretzels pieces
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large clove garlic, peeled, minced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup basil pesto (homemade or store-bought)

ZUCCHINI AND ONIONS:
1 medium zucchini (6 to 7-inches long), washed, sliced lengthwise in 6, 1/4-inch slices
1 medium red onion cut into 6 slices, about 1/4-inch thick
2 tablespoons Colavita olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

CAPRESE BLEND
2 tablespoons Ranch dressing
2 tablespoons Italian dressing
8 ounce bag mixed field greens, washed well, spun dry
6 Ciabatta rolls,sliced in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons Colavita olive oil
18 fresh basil leaves, divided
12 slices fresh Buffalo mozzarella, (from 2 large balls), divided
6 tomato slices, about 1/4-inch thick

Instructions 

Preheat a gas grill on high for 10 minutes.

To make the burgers: In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground sirloin, crushed pretzels, black pepper, garlic, kosher salt and pesto. Mix lightly, but enough to incorporate all ingredients. Shape into patties at least 1/2-inch thick and large enough to fit the Ciabatta roll. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Place the zucchini and onion slices on a tray and brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt; set aside. To prepare Caprese salad, in a bowl, whisk together the ranch and Italian dressings. Add the field greens and toss to coat. Set aside.

When the grill is hot, wad up some paper towels and using tongs dip the towels in the oil and oil the grates. Close the lid and reduce the heat to medium-high.

Place the patties on the grill. Place the zucchini and red onion slices on the grill. Close lid and grill about 4 to 5 minutes on one side. Flip the burgers, zucchini and onions and grill another 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare to medium (depending on your preferred degree of doneness) burgers. (The zucchini should be tender enough to fold over and be placed on the burger.) During the last 2 minutes of grilling brush the ciabatta rolls on the cut side with the olive oil and place the rolls, cut side down on the grill to lightly toast. Remove all from the grill.

To assemble: On the bottom of each roll, place about 1/4-cup of the dressed greens. Top with 3 basil leaves, 2 slices mozzarella and one tomato slice. Top with a burger, grilled onion slice and fold a piece of grilled zucchini and place on the onion. Top with more dressed green and the top roll.

Comments 

One key to a fresh burger and knowing what goes into it is grinding your meat in a food processor or having the butcher do it for you. To grind yourself, look for a well-marbled piece of sirloin or chuck. Have the meat well-chilled and cut it into chunks and place in the bowl of food processor and pulse several times chop. Do not over chop or it will turn to mush.