The Caprese Burger: The Only Burger You Should Be Making This Summer

© Dennis Prescott

The Caprese salad is classic summer eating, perfect for fantastic, in-season tomatoes and basil. Burgers, however, epitomize outdoor eating. So why not combine the two? Try a juicy burger topped with deep-fried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto and a basil balsamic mayo. And you can feel good about eating this burger. You're almost eating a salad…sort of.

Caprese Burger with Fried Tomatoes

Makes 4 double cheeseburgers

Basil Mayo

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon basil pesto
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Burgers

  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Fried Tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon fried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 very firm, large tomatoes, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 balls of buffalo mozzarella
  • 12 slices of prosciutto
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 4 burger buns

In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, 1 tablespoon pesto and balsamic vinegar and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, combine all burger ingredients, mix well and shape into eight equal 1/4 pound burger patties. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Heat 2 inches of canola oil in a deep saucepan to 350°.

Prepare three separate bowls: one with flour, one with the beaten eggs and one with the oregano, salt and breadcrumbs. Working in batches, dredge tomatoes in the flour, then the egg wash and lastly the breadcrumbs, and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and melt butter with olive oil. Season both sides of burgers with salt and pepper and, working in batches, fry for 3 minutes per side. Top patties with sliced mozzarella, place on a baking tray and bake until the cheese has nicely melted, about 5 minutes.

Top cheeseburgers with 2 slices of prosciutto, 2 fried tomato slices, fresh basil and pesto mayo.

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