Caprese Burger

We're kind of obsessed with burgers these days.  Rob is always obsessed with burgers, but I'm joining in.  In the winter, if you could call Phoenix "winter" ever, we usually make pizza once a week and it seems like in the summer I've been making burgers once a week.  I'm having fun trying out different types.  This is one of our new favorites.

I LOVE caprese salad so when we got a bottle of 20 year-aged balsamic on our vacation I immediately thought of making caprese salad, which turned into a caprese meal. 

I used homemade pesto I had in the freezer, but use whatever you have.  A jar works fine.  I think that a ciabatta roll would be great but Rob isn't a big fan of those so we used some wheat bakery buns.

Caprese Burgers

For the burgers:
2 lbs ground beef, I use 93% lean
1 tsp. granulated garlic or 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. garlic pepper (or just sub 1/2 tsp pepper)
1/2 tsp. sea salt

For the pesto mayo:
3 Tb. prepared pesto
1/2 c. mayo

Balsamic syrup for drizzling
fresh mozzarella
tomato slices
red onion slices
8 fresh bakery buns or ciabatta buns

To prepare the balsamic syrup, bring 1 c. balsamic vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Let simmer, but not boil, for about 5 minutes or until it has thickened a bit.  It will continue to thicken as it cools so remove from heat and let cool before it's comepetely syrup-y. Pour into a small jar and keep in the pantry for up to 3 months.

Mix together the pesto and mayonnaise and refrigerate until needed.  In a mixing bowl combine beef, garlic pepper, garlic and salt.  Form into 8 patties.  Grill a couple minutes on each side or to your desired done-ness.  Top with fresh mozzarella cheese and close the grill lid for just a minute to let the cheese melt.  Top toasted buns with 1 Tb. pesto mayo, lettuce, onion, the cooked burger, tomato slices and drizzle the top with the balsamic syrup.  Enjoy!

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