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