Peachy Chicken Burger with Spicy Pecan Pesto
I grew up in the Southeast U.S. though now I live in Texas so I tried to subtly meld some traditional flavors from those two regions in order to create a perfect “Scarlet meets her cowboy” burger.Fresh peaches and pecans are classic flavors used in southeastern cuisine while I added a “spicy kick” with some cayenne pepper in the pecan pesto…and everyone knows how much we Texans love our spicy foods!!
2 pounds freshly ground chicken (white and dark meat)
1 cup finely diced fresh peaches
2 shallots, minced
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, packed
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup toasted pecans
1/2 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 ciabatta buns, split
1/4 cup basil-infused olive oil, plus 2 TBS for tossing with spinach leaves
2 cups of lightly packed baby spinach leaves
1 TBS sea salt
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved into large slices
Preheat the gas grill to medium-high.
In a large bowl, add your ground chicken, peaches, shallots, salt, and pepper. Mix gently but thoroughly, being careful not to overwork the mixture. Form the mixture into 6 equal-sized patties. Set aside to let rest.
In a food processor, chop the basil leaves, spinach, garlic, toasted pecans, shredded parmesan cheese, salt, extra virgin olive oil, and cayenne pepper until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl; cover and set aside while you cook your burgers.
Put your burger patties on the preheated grill over direct heat. Cook burgers for a total of 5-6 minutes per side. A few minutes before the burgers are cooked thoroughly, brush the inside of your ciabatta buns with 1/4 cup of basil-infused olive oil and put on the grill to toast slightly. One minute before burgers are done, toss baby spinach leaves with remaining 2 TBS of basil-infused olive oil and sea salt. When everything is ready, assemble your burgers – place a patty on each roll topped with a handful of baby spinach and a couple shaved slice of parmesan cheese. Finish with a top roll smeared generously with Spicy Pecan Pesto. Enjoy!