Monday, July 2, 2012
Gourmet Caprese Burger with Balsamic Reduction
Summer salads are always a favorite at barbecues and summertime parties. When you are having a Summer Grilling Celebration, how do you bring your favorite Caprese salad to the grill? You transform it into an incredibly scrumptious gourmet burger that captures the essence of summer! With luscious tomato, fresh basil, creamy mozzarella and sweet balsamic vinegar this burger was destined for TSRI's burger hall of fame.
A perfectly grilled beef burger drizzled with a sweet balsamic reduction, served atop a layer of fresh chunky tomato sauce on a toasted ciabatta bun is enough to make your stomach growl and your taste buds swoon! Add a slice of fresh mozzarella and a spoonful of fresh pesto mayonnaise and you may just have to pick your tongue up off the floor!
This burger was made spectacular using some amazing ingredients from Fresina's Pasta Co and Italian Specialties in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I have had this idea of turning the Caprese salad into a burger for some time. But, when I received a package of products from Fresina's, I knew right away what I was missing. We were lucky enough to try their 12 year aged Signature Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. I have to tell you this was truly the best balsamic I have ever tasted. It is smooth, sweet and unbelievably thick! How sweet? How delicious? Let me say this... When I made my balsamic reduction it was so good I ate it off the spoon. I saved a least half for the burgers (well, true confession... I made 2 batches!)
Mama Fresina's Signature Pezzo Sauce (chunky tomato sauce) was another item that we were fortunate enough to sample that we just knew had to go on this burger as well. This sauce carries the garden fresh taste that San Marzano tomatoes are known for. Chad even said he loved it, and he is a tough one to please with pasta sauces.
Fresina's Pasta Co has a rich family history. Since 1926 they have been making handmade pasta. Through 3 generations they still do it the way their family in Italy did. Using the delicate' method, the pasta is air-dried for 3 days and packed by hand. The care they take shows in the selection of products they offer. From fabulous handmade pasta (make sure you check back tomorrow to talk about this in more detail) to fine Italian imported specialty items, Fresina's is the place to go. "If you can't be in Italy, we will bring Italy to you" is Fresina's motto and they certainly deliver on that!
After enjoying their products so much I knew I had to share this company with our readers. I am happy to tell you that Fresina's Pasta Co & Italian Specialties is very generously giving away a custom Tour of Italia Gift Box (and will ship to the winners home) with an approximate retail value of $125. GIVEAWAY CLOSED!
2 packages of Fresina's Handmade Gourmet Pastas (vermicelli and rotini)
1 jar Fresina's Signature Sauce
250ml Fresina's Signature Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
250ml Fresina's Signature Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Marinated Spiced Whole Garlic
Villa Reale Pistachio Nut Cream from Sicily
Tuscany Blend Bread Dipping Seasonings
Vergani Torrone Morbido (Crumbly nougat with roasted almonds and hazelnuts)
Tuscany Italian Music CD,
Mama Fresina's Personal Favorite Cookbook
Giveaway Rules GIVEAWAY CLOSED!
There is only 1 mandatory entry. However, you can earn many bonue extra entries by performing additional tasks. Contest will close Monday July 9th @ 12:01am. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator and will be announced Monday July 9th in our daily article.
"Like" The Slow Roasted Italian on Facebook and leave a comment on our Facebook wall "I am a Slow Roaster!" Return to this post and leave a comment stating that you completed this task. If you already LIKE TSRI, just leave the comment and come back here and comment that you already like TSRI on Facebook.
BONUS - "Follow" us on Pinterest and 'PIN' the Gourmet Caprese Burger. Return to this post and leave a separate comment stating that you completed this task.
BONUS - Go to Fresina's Online Store and find the product you would most love to try. Leave a comment on this post stating which product you most love.
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DAILY BONUS ENTRIES - Earn up to 2 entries each day by Pinning or Facebook Sharing our daily article. 1 entry for each. (Check back Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for these bonus entries).
The Slow Roasted Italian was given a sample package to review these products. We were not compensated in any other way. The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of The Slow Roasted Italian and are no way influenced.
The WINNER for last weeks TSRI Summer Grilling Giveaway is KellyR78! Congrats Kelly. Check your inbox and email us as soon as possible!
Gourmet Caprese Burger with Balsamic Reduction
1 1/2 pounds 93% lean beef
kosher salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup good balsamic vinegar (I used Fresina's Signature Balsamic Vinegar of Modena)
1 cup chunky tomato sauce (I used Mama Fressina's Signature Pezzo Sauce)
4 slices fresh mozzarella, sliced to 1/8" or 1/4" slices)
1/2 cup pesto mayonnaise (check back Wednesday for recipe OR mix 1/2 cup pesto with 3 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise)
4 ciabatta buns, split
In a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a slow boil, over medium heat. Whisk constantly, until reduced by half. Reduce to low, until ready to serve. Remove from heat 15 minutes before serving and balsamic will thicken.
Preheat grill to medium-high.
Form beef into (4) 6 ounce patties, slightly larger than your bun. Make a slight indentation in the center of the burger to prevent it from doming up in the center. The indentation will rise as your burger cooks. Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper.
Grill until golden brown and slightly charred (about 3 minutes), turning once sparingly drizzle balsamic over top cooked side (cook for 3 minutes on the other side for medium). Try not to press down on your burger with a spatula. It will cause the juices to escape and will create a dry burger!
Toast ciabatta buns.
To prepare Gourmet Caprese Burgers, spoon 1/4 cup chunky tomato sauce on bun, top with burger. Drizzle with more balsamic, add 1 slice of mozzarella cheese, spoon on 2 tablespoons of pesto mayo and top with toasted bun.
Serve and Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe - The Slow Roasted Italian.com
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