Saturday, January 19, 2013

Insalata Caprese Burgers

I am a huge fan of Italian food. I mean, what's not to like? All the tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, the cheeses and meats—pure heaven! Sadly, most of the traditional Italian food we see here in the states (and even some parts of Italy) is pretty much pure gluten. So I've given up a lot of them except for the occasional rice pasta dish. Even then, I try not to go overboard because I know there are tons of healthier options. So sometimes, if you want to enjoy some traditional tastes, you just have to get a little creative with the preparation. I absolutely adore Caprese Salad. It's just pure heaven in my opinion. I love that it's pretty much a healthy option on it's own, but I was trying to jazz it up a little bit and incorporate some meat. Instead of making it a side dish or appetizer, I went ahead and went full entreè!

On a side note, I'm still trying to work out a schedule to post more consistently, and my aim is to try for at least once a week to get me back on track.

Insalata Caprese Burgers
Two raw burger patties (whatever size you prefer; recommend 80/20 or 85/15)
Grape, cherry, or Roma tomatoes, sliced
Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (preferably full fat)
Fresh basil leaves, chopped
Balsamic vinegar
Steak or burger seasonings

Prepare the burger patties by flattening with your palm and creating a well in the middle for the toppings. Fill the middle of the bottom patty with the desired amount of tomatoes, cheese, and basil. Add a couple dashes (or a few more!) of balsamic vinegar. Top with other patty, pinch sides together, and reform if necessary. Season outside of patty with desired seasonings. I prefer a light seasoning of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Grill or heat up a small amount of fat or oil and cook on the stove. If using a stove top, you may want to sear both sides and then use a lid to cook the insides if the burger is too thick. If you really enjoy balsamic vinegar as much as I do, drizzle a little bit more over the top before serving. If you're looking to incorporate more veggies, this would be great served on top of a bed of lettuce and even a few more tomatoes.

The idea behind this recipe can originally be found here. I simply made a few changes to make it more to my preferences and of course, skipped the bun!