Bookmark and Share May 27, 2010 - Dave Mulder

Pesto-topped burgers: A tasty variation

My usual burger fare is a quarter-pound of organic beef topped with caramelized onions and mushrooms. After a while, this standby can become tiring.

As it so happens, yesterday was my CSA’s first farm pickup: lettuce, spinach, radishes, garlic shoots, and a healthy bag of basil were waiting in my kitchen. Finding creative ways to eat these plant goodies over the summer will be a priority.

The decision for Thursday night: pesto-topped burgers. Why pesto? Basil and garlic are major ingredients of pesto, and I have a surplus of each. Luckily, I only needed to buy pine nuts and ground beef.

I stopped by my food co-op and snagged a pound of ground beef from pasture-raised Scottish highland cattle. Apparently they didn’t have pine nuts so I grabbed a reasonable quantity of hazelnuts and checked out.

Prepping the pesto was remarkably simple:

  • Rinse some basil leaves.
  • Prep 3 cloves of garlic.
  • Cut up a little bit of block Parmesan cheese.
  • Toss in some pine nuts or hazelnuts.
  • Blend together in a food processor or blender.
  • Add olive oil to create a little bit of a mixture and continue blending.

From there, burger set up proceeded as normal.

After the burgers were finished, they were placed on lightly-toasted ciabatta (from a local bakery) and topped with the homemade pesto.

Because there was plenty of spinach and lettuce available from the CSA, salads were a logical choice for side dish.

And though it may not have been the perfect move, I paired this with a bottle of Bel Lago NV Red Table Wine. All-in-all an incredibly satisfying meal.


  • Bread: Local
  • Beef: Regional
  • Garlic: Very local
  • Basil: Very local
  • Wine: Regional
  • Hazel nuts: ???
  • Lettuce: Very local
  • Spinach: Very local
  • Cheese: Regional

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