Put-Out-an-“APB” (Arugula-Pesto Butter) Burger

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.


1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon garlic
2 cups baby arugula
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds ground sirloin
3/4 cup grated onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup mascarpone, softened
1 tablespoon good quality, extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon, fresh rosemary, minced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 French-style (crusty) hamburger buns, split



To make the butter compound, coarsely grind the pine nuts in a food processor (or chop finely by hand), then add the butter, garlic, baby arugula, parmesan cheese, salt, and red pepper flakes. Place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap and chill for about 20 minutes or until firm enough to shape, but not too hard.

Next, form the chilled butter into a 1-1/2 inch diameter log (roll the butter between a sheet of parchment or plastic wrap to keep your hands clean and to make it easy to shape). Cover with wrap and let chill. (Butter compound can be made 30 minutes to a day ahead.)

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

In a large bowl, gently combine the ground sirloin with the grated onion (add any onion juice resulting from the grating), garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.

To finish the prep for the patties, take the pesto butter log and slice off 6 1/4-inch disks from the log (about 1 tablespoon each). Divide the sirloin mixture into 6 portions. Press one pesto butter disk into one portion of the sirloin mixture and form the meat mixture around the disk sealing in the pesto butter to form a pattie. Repeat until 6 patties are complete. (Allow the leftover arugula-pesto butter compound to soften.)

To create the smear, beat the mascarpone for about 10 seconds to fluff. Incorporate the olive oil, garlic, fresh rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, salt and pepper. Set aside.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium.
Toward the end of cooking time, spread one cut side of the hamburger buns with the extra pesto butter. Place the buns, cut side down, on the cooler edges of the rack to toast lightly, about 2 minutes.

To assemble the burgers, place each pattie on a bun bottom, dollop each pattie with a portion of the mascarpone smear. Add the bun tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers