Juicy Burgers with Chunks of Basil Pesto Butter


1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups of basil (packed) leaves
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of lemon zest
1/4 cup olive oil
2 sticks of Salted butter (room temperature)

1 3/4 ground beef (15% fat)
6 hamburger buns, split horizontally
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
½ tsp freshly ground Pepper
6 slices (1/4 inch slices) fresh Buffalo mozzarella cheese (about 8 -10 ounces)
5 oz baby romaine leaves
1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)



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 log. 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 slice 1 ¼ inch of the basil pesto butter. Insert a slice of this basil pesto butter onto one patty and top with another patty. Close the patties to make one ¾ inch patty. Repeat to make a total of six ¾ inch thick patties. Chill burgers until ready to grill.

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 until preferred doneness. (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 3 minutes. Meanwhile grill the hamburger buns until lightly toasted for about 1 minute. Spread buns (bottoms and tops) with basil pesto butter. Build the burger with the patty, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, baby romaine leaves. Cover with bun tops.

Makes 6 servings.