RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Sun-dried Tomato and Polenta Burgers with Pesto Mayonnaise and Arugula Salad

Ingredients 

1 1/2 lb 80% lean/20% fat ground beef (chuck preferred)
1/2 cup chopped pre-cooked polenta (such as Food Merchants Brand Organic Traditional Italian Polenta)
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp prepared refrigerated basil pesto (such as Cibo Naturals)
1 tsp minced lemon zest

1 large ripe tomato

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch of Kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 oz baby arugula leaves (about 3 cups)

Focaccia Bread (enough sufficient to cut into 6 burger bun sized portions), split in half horizontally

Instructions 

Preheat gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover.

To make patties: In a medium bowl, gently break apart ground beef and then add the polenta, asiago cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, Kosher salt and black pepper. Mix gently, but thoroughly, to combine. Divide into 6 equal sized portions and shape into patties, pressing down with your thumb in the center of each patty to form an indentation. Set patties aside.

For the pesto mayonnaise: In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, basil pesto and lemon zest. Stir until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill until serving time.

For the tomato: Remove core, then cut off a thin slice from top and bottom and discard. Cut remainder of tomato into six equal thickness slices. Set aside.

Cook patties: Place patties on pre-heated grill and cook for 5-7 minutes per side, until cooked through and until the patties have reached an internal temperature of 155 degrees F. Remove from grill and set aside.

Make arugula salad: In a medium bowl combine extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Kosher salt and black pepper. Whisk to combine. Add arugula leaves to dressing and toss to coat.

Assemble Burgers: Spread bottom half of focaccia piece with pesto mayonnaise, then top with 1/2 cup of arugula salad, 1 burger patty and a tomato slice. Spread the top half of the focaccia with additional pesto mayonnaise and place on top of tomato. Repeat for remaining burgers. Serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Comments 

One of my closest friends asked me to bring some of her favorite Italian flavors to a burger that she could enjoy during the hot summer months so she wouldn't have to use her oven. When I first told her about my idea of adding polenta, it definitely raised an eyebrow, but one taste and she was won over! Now this burger is a regular in our household--it tastes great with ground chicken, too!