Caprese Burgers

If you’re not familiar with Caprese Salad (or Insalata Caprese if you’re fancy and/or Italian), you really should work on changing that. Caprese Salad is made up of slices of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil leaves that are drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt. So simple and so Italian.

Caprese Salad is fresh, light, and really yummy all on its own. But you know what? It’s also pretty wonderful when it’s on top of a burger, which is exactly what my family and I did for our cookout dinner on the Fourth of July! The burger and Caprese toppings were filling, without feeling heavy like traditional cheeseburgers sometimes do. The freshness kept it all light, which was perfect for a summer dinner.

Caprese Burger

Here’s what you’ll need (to make four servings):
Two or three medium-sized tomatoes
A handful of fresh basil leaves
Half of a Vidalia onion
Four slices of Mozzarella cheese
Four burgers
Four Ciabatta rolls (sliced in half to make buns)

1. Dice the tomatoes.
2. Finely chop the basil leaves.
3. Combine the diced tomatoes and chopped basil in a bowl and let sit. (I did this a couple hours before dinner so the flavors would have plenty of time to come together. The tomatoes will release all kinds of juices while they sit, which will be great later.)
4. Start grilling the burgers.
5. Mince the onion.
6. After the burgers have been flipped for the last time, top each one with a tablespoon or so of the minced onion. Place a mozzarella slice on top of the onions, and let melt slightly. (This is one of my favorite burger topping tricks. I love finely minced onions on my burgers, but I cannot stand it when tiny onion pieces end up all over everything because there’s nothing to hold them in place on top of the burger. Placing them under the cheese keeps it all under control.)
7. Place the burgers on the Ciabatta buns. (I only used half of a Ciabatta roll for my dinner, making an open-faced sandwich. Ciabatta can be a little bit dense, so a whole bun might actually end up overpowering your burger. But that’s up to you!)
8. Top the burgers with the tomato-basil mixture. (Don’t use a slotted spoon! All of the flavor will be in the tomato juice!)
9. Chow down!

Caprese Burger

Caprese Burger

Caprese Burger

Caprese Burger

We enjoyed our burgers with fresh corn on the cob (or “off the cob”, if you’re bad at the whole “on the cob” thing, like I am) and some of my favorite marinated cucumbers.

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