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Summer "Brie-ze" Basil Burgers with Pesto Mayo


Pesto Mayonnaise
2/3 cup mayonnaise
½ cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground sirloin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
2 - 3 gloves garlic, minced
8 - 10 ounces Brie cheese,

2 -3 tablespoons Vegetable oil

6 high quality hamburger buns
6red leaf lettuce leaves
6 tomato slices
6 very thin slices of red onion
6 fresh basil sprigs, for garnish


Pesto Mayonnaise: Combine the mayonnaise, basil, mustard and cayenne pepper in a blender and puree until smooth and well blended. Transfer to a small mixing bowl. Keep the pesto mayo covered in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the burgers. The pesto mayonnaise can be prepared up to a day in advance.

Patties: In a large mixing bowl combine the beef, salt, pepper, basil, onion, bread crumbs, tomato paste Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Gently mix the beef and other ingredients until well blended. Take care not to over work the beef. Divide the beef into 12 equal portions. Flatten each portion of beef into evenly sized patties. Remove the rind from the cheese and cut into 6 slices or 6 even proportions of cheese. Evenly top 6 of the patties with Brie cheese. Top each bottom patty and cheese with the remaining 6 patties. Use your fingers to pinch the outer edges of each patty, forming a seal. Place the patties on a plate and cover with plastic wrap until ready to cook.

Grilling the burgers: Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat or prepare a medium-hot charcoal grill with a cover. Brush the grill with the vegetable oil. Place the brie burgers on the grill rack and cover the grill. Cook the burgers 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium doneness. Turn the hamburgers over only once throughout the cooking process. Place the brie burgers on a serving platter and cover with aluminum foil. Set aside until ready to assemble the burgers. Place the buns, cut side down on the grill and toast until the buns are light brown. Remove buns and begin to assemble the burgers.

Assembling the hamburgers: Spread about 1 tablespoon of the basil mayonnaise on the top and bottom of each bun. Add a hamburger patty to each bun bottom. Top each brie burger with a lettuce leaf, tomato slice, onion ring and the top side of the bun. Garnish with a spring of fresh basil. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 brie burgers.


One of my favorite things about summer is tending to my vegetable garden. It is not very big, but if I only have tomatoes and fresh basil I am a happy camper. Our garden always has plentiful tomatoes and the basil grows like weeds. One of my favorite tomato treats is a slice of tomato topped with extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, fresh basil and brie cheese. Inspiration for this burger came to me as I was grilling plain old hamburgers outside and within view of my garden. Of course, I was going to top my "Plain Jane" hamburger with a fresh slice of tomato. But then I thought about adding some basil and brie cheese to my hamburger. My hamburger was the envy of my family. And like a little seed planted in my garden, this idea for a brie burger grew.

Add the taste of summer to your hamburgers by using fresh tomatoes and basil. Placing the cheese inside the burgers makes for a pleasant little surprise, just as a light summer breeze on a hot day. Do not worry if you do not have garden. Take the opportunity to support your local farmers’ market. You will probably find plenty of other fruits and vegetables to serve with your Summer "Brie-ze" Basil Burgers.