The Caprese salad is a staple of traditional Italian cuisine. The combination of fresh mozzarella, tomato, and fresh basil have stood the test of time. The flavor profile can be found in many Italian dishes, and I figured why not lend these delicious flavors to a burger.
This recipe utilizes our Pastamore Traditional Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar in both the meat and as a garnish. This recipe was also created with focaccia bread as the bun and with a side of grilled eggplant to stay with the Italian theme. This recipe is simple and delicious, and offers a nice fresh flavor for summer.
Servings - 4
1 lb - ground beef (80/20 or 85/15 preferred)
1 Tbsp - Pastamore Traditional Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp -salt
1/4 tsp - dried oregano
1/8 tsp - black pepper
1/8 tsp - garlic powder
4 oz - fresh mozzarella cheese
1-2 - tomatoes
6-8 leaves - fresh basil
1 - eggplant
As needed - salt, black pepper, and olive oil
As garnish - Pastamore Traditional Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar
1 small loaf - focaccia bread (large enough to be made into four buns)
1. In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, Pastamore Traditional Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar, salt, dried oregano, black pepper, and garlic powder. Mix until evenly distributed. Form the meat into four even sized patties and place to the side.
2. Turn the grill on medium-heat, and allow it to come to temperature.
3. Cut the focaccia bread so that the sides of the buns will be flat. Use a serrated or a bread knife to cut the bread into burger-sized pieces, and then cut in half to make a bun. Place the basil leaves on top of each other, and roll them up like a cigar. Them cut them into fine strips (this is known as a chiffonade). Cut the tomato into 4 1/4" thick slices.
4. Rinse the eggplant. Cut the top and bottom off of the eggplant, and dispose of them. Slice the eggplant into approximately 8 even-sized pieces. Lightly drizzle the flesh of the eggplant with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Place the burgers onto the grill. Cook until the desired doneness is reached, and only turn them once during the cooking process. When the burgers are flipped add the eggplant and the buns to the grill. Cook the bread until they achieve nice grill marks, and cook the eggplant until it becomes tender with nice grill marks.
6. Cut the fresh mozzarella into 4 1-oz pieces. Plate the bottom half of the bun and top with the burger. Top the burger with the cheese, then tomato, and then finally with the fresh basil. Finish off the plate with a drizzle of Pastamore Traditional Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar.