Beautimous Besto Pesto Burgers — a Beautimous Original

15 Aug

Ever since my trip to Rogue Tavern and the somewhat disappointing experience with the pesto sliders, I’ve been making plans to make my own pesto burgers. Now, I didn’t start this blog – initially – to share the various things that I throw together for meals (though I have been cajoled more than once to write my reci … well, I can’t even call them “recipes,” usually, because mostly it’s cooking by the Force).

I am no professional chef. My experience at cooking is trial and an exceptional comfort-level with error. I’m not a card-carrying foodie, though I appreciate the ideals. But God love ‘em, it’s just not practical every time.

That said, I’m going to share my newest creation – following the Beautimous’ squire naming of it – the Besto Pesto Burger. For the complete meal, obviously, suit yourself, but I’ll share what I prepared. Let’s just agree at the onset that it’s more of a food guideline … because I didn’t use a recipe to make it.

Besto Pesto Burgers

I have a basil plant that is freakin’ out of control. So, as a wildlife management tactic, I dedicated myself to making homemade pesto. I consulted several recipes … and then pretty much like always, I modified. Normal or not, here are the “food guidelines” for my pesto:

Besto Pesto

  • 3-5 cups of fresh basil, cup up
  • 1&1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic (fresh or canned)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 to 1&1/2 cups of shredded Romano cheese (any hard cheese will work).
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • At least 4 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin or light), probably more
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Note this will make a lot more than you’ll need for the burgers. You can save in the fridge for several days or freeze for a couple months.

  1. Besto Pesto -- Pesto Burger mixPlace all the ingredients, except the vinegar and oil (and s&p) in a blender (or food processor). Pour in the vinegar and 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Blend on lowest speed. You’ll probably need to stop and scrape the side occasionally.
  2. Add more oil, as needed. What you’re trying to achieve is a certain consistency in the mix – chopped, wet, pasty but not liquefied (see the rough, gross photo for an idea … it’s the best I could do, the pesto’s almost gone!).  If you need more than 4 tablespoons, go for it … get it to the consistency that you want.
  3. Taste it … then add salt and pepper as you want (around a tablespoon or less). Voila. You’ve got pesto. What does it yield? I don’t know. A bunch of pesto!

Besto Pesto BurgerBesto Pesto Burger – Grilled
Yields about 6-8 patties

  • 2 lbs of ground beef (80/20 … don’t use lean meat and don’t go for the 73/27 either)
  • Besto Pesto Mix … and yes, you COULD use sto’ bought pesto. I won’t be around to tattle on you.
  • Sliced yellow tomato (or whatever kind)
  • Sliced Purple onion
  • Sliced mozzarella cheese
  • Romaine lettuce leafs
  • Loaf of French Bread
  • Condiments to suit
  1. Fire up the old grill and let it get to a good medium-low heat
  2. Thoroughly mix 2 tablespoons of the pesto into a quarter pound of the meat.
  3. Repeat until you have all burgers ready for the grill.
  4. Cook on low to medium-low heat 5-7 minutes on each side or until done to your liking. WARNING (Other than the ones that you should know about cooking safety … these burgers are oily and likely to have flash flames on the grill. Keep some water handy, don’t flip more than necessary and DON’T PRESS).
  5. Also place the purple onion on the grill. Prep in favorite way to keep it from sticking.
  6. Onion is done when it is has some scorching … this is delicious (caramelized sugars on the onion).
  7. When the meat is cooked, build your burger. Serve on French bread topped with tomato, some grilled onions, a slice of mozzarella cheese, lettuce and whatever condiments are to your liking (suggest mayo and very light mustard).

Besto Pesto Burgers with mashed potatoes and steam squashWe ate these burgers with a strange combo that only could have been demanded by family and what needed to be cooked in the fridge … homemade garlic cheese mashed potatoes and steamed summer squash.

Let me know how this works for you … It was a hit around here.

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