What is a Caprese Burger?
Caprese salad is one of my all-time favorite dishes, so making a Caprese burger seemed like a win-win situation. To answer the question of what a Caprese burger is is quite simple. It is a burger with Caprese salad ingredients such as fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. If you have never tasted a Caprese salad, you should. It is a flavorful healthy dish that tastes absolutely amazing. And everyone knows burgers.
How to Make a Great Vegetarian Burger
I never met a burger I did not like, including vegetarian burgers. I recently started a new job and one of my co-workers is an avid outdoors person as well as a vegetarian, his one request is that I include more vegetarian recipes on Damn Fine Dishes. This paragraph is for him. This recipe is really awesome with vegetarian burgers because there is so much flavor from the Caprese, you do not notice the burger is not meat. The cool thing about it too is that you do not need a bunch of condiments on the burger which makes it a notch healthier right off the bat. If you are trying to be more health conscious, try this burger, it is not only a treat but very healthy. You can also substitute chicken or turkey burgers instead of beef. My favorite substitute for beef is Buffalo.
How to Make a Balsamic Reduction
I sat and thought about it for a while. How can I make this unique? How can I assure the flavor of the balsamic would not just run off the burger or on the contrary, overpower the burger. That is when it came to me, the balsamic needs to be reduced so that it is thicker and sticks to the burger. I think this really makes the burger better because just adding the balsamic and olive oil could make for a soggy bun. Try it both ways and see what you like. To make a balsamic reduction is quite simple, just take two cups of balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup of honey, 1 clove of crushed garlic, and a half a teaspoon of basil. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan, stir it from tiem to time, and simmer until reduced by half.
The Caprese Salad
I am a little embarrassed to admit that I had never tasted Caprese Salad until I was in my late thirties. A roommate had made dinner one night and she made the dish. I was instantly in love with it when I tasted it. When she made it, she did not use any olive oil in the dish, only balsamic. It was later when I started making the dish, that another friend suggested adding the olive oil. Since I was a Caprese salad newbie, I had no idea you could do that. Adding a drizzle of olive oil gave it a whole new dimension to it and I later learned that this is how you should make the dish.
Here is the link to my Caprese Salad recipe, so simple and so delicious!
The Caprese Burger
Now back to this Caprese burger. It seemed pretty simple, make a balsamic reduction. Cook the burger, add the Caprese ingredients just before removing the burger from the grill, then drizzle with the balsamic reduction and olive oil. When developing this recipe, I wondered what would be better, melting the cheese on the burger first then adding the basil and tomato, or keeping the Caprese ingredients cold? Then I thought, in order to keep the Caprese flavor of a salad, the cheese should stay cold. But then again, melted cheese on a burger is always delicious. Now it was time to experiment with both options. It turns out, either way, was good.
Healthy Caprese Burger
A delicious and healthy twist on a grilled burger. This is so flavorful you will wonder why you have never tried it before.
- 2 c balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 c raw honey
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 lb hamburger meat
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp Italian bread crumbs
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 pkg fresh basil
- 1 pkg fresh mozzarella
- 1 pkg pub style hamburger buns
Combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, dried basil into a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half. this may take some time to reduce by half. Set aside and let cool.
Combine hamburger meat, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and bread crumbs. Mix well and shape meat into a hamburger patty.
Place burgers on hot grill and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove and let rest for at least a couple of minutes.
Toast bun if desired. Build the burger by drizzling some of the balsamic reduction on the bun. Next, place the basil, and drizzle again. Place the tomato and mozzarella next and drizzle again. Next place the burger and drizzle as desired. Top with the half of the bun.
Serve immediately with fries, vegetable or another favorite side.