In this play on a classic Italian salad, pesto, fresh cheese, and punchy greens brighten and elevate what is already highly flavourful grass-fed beef. Make it even more awesome by going the extra mile and grilling the tomato slices. You can even make your own pesto.
For many people, a burger isn’t a burger without the bun. And yes, you should have some on hand if you’re feeding a crowd. But a well-made burger with plenty of exciting flavours can be just as great without being placed between two slabs of bread. Plus, going sans bun saves you some calories. But if you just need that bun for your burger, be sure to choose one made with whole grains, and toast it first for that tasty, crispy texture.
Get saucy [SUBHEAD]
An array of condiments often goes hand-in-hand with grilling. For healthier slather-ons, be sure to read labels carefully. Many condiments such as barbecue sauce and ketchup can be filled with sugar and high amounts of sodium. Compare brands and look for those with the most wholesome ingredient list—or make your own.
To make your own quick pesto, simply pulse together a couple handfuls of fresh basil with grated Parmesan cheese; two chopped garlic cloves; fresh lemon juice; salt; and pine nuts, walnuts, or hemp hearts. Slowly pour in some olive oil through the feed tube until you have a pesto consistency.
1 lb (450 g) grass-fed beef
1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder
1 tsp (5 mL) onion powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
4 whole grain buns (optional)
2 cups (500 mL) arugula or other tender greens
1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) balsamic vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive or camelina oil
4 Tbsp (60 mL) prepared basil pesto
Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
4 tomato slices
In bowl, gently mix together beef, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Form into 4 equal-sized patties.
Preheat grill on high for 10 minutes and then lower to medium for cooking. Grill burgers for 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until an internal temperature of 160 F (71 C) is reached. Remove burgers from grill and place bun halves, if using, on grill and heat just until toasted.
Toss arugula together with balsamic vinegar, oil, and a pinch of salt. Divide arugula among bun halves and top with burgers. If not using buns, place greens on plate and nestle burgers on top. Garnish burgers with pesto, slices of cheese and tomato, and remaining bun halves, if using.