Looking for a special burger recipe for Labor Day (or any day)? This grilled basil burger recipe is it! John has whipped up these burgers several times this summer. I’ve been planning to share his recipe for weeks, but here we are nearing the end of August, and I’m just getting around to it. One bite and you’ll taste what you’ve been missing. I apologize in advance for waiting so long.
John uses a Big Green Egg, but I am confident this burger recipe will turn out great on any grill or smoker. Also, we highly recommend Ozark Oak Hardwood Lump Charcoal made in Yellville, Arkansas. John swears by this hardwood charcoal which adds a light, smoky aroma and doesn’t overpower the food. If you live in Arkansas, look for it at your local grocery store. In Dallas, try Jacksons Home and Garden or Elliot’s Hardware.
Okay, without further delay, let’s move on to the recipe.
This flavorful burger is Italian inspired with sun-dried tomatoes, Italian red wine and Fontina cheese. My homemade basil pesto (in lieu of traditional condiments) adds a fresh flavor. Of course, you can add your favorite fixings when it’s time to build your burger, but I recommend tomato, red onion and arugula. (I added pickled radishes because I had them in my fridge—that’s the odd looking reddish-orange thing in my first picture). We used grill sourdough which added a light touch. Sometimes regular hamburger buns add too much bread for my taste.
If you give this a try for Labor Day, let us know what you think!
- 1 1/2 pounds freshly ground sirloin
- 1/2 pound freshly ground pork
- 1/4 cup medium to full bodied red wine
- 1/4 cup lightly packed minced fresh basil
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
- 2 heaping Tablespoons minced garlic
- sourdough bread slices
- Italian Fontina cheese (or other white cheese such as Gruyere, Provolone, or Gouda)
- Arugula leaves
- Tomato slices
- Red onion slices, thinly sliced
- Fresh Basil Pesto recipe HERE
- Mix first eight ingredients in a large bowl. Form into patties or sliders. Mix thoroughly but avoid over-handling / over-compacting meat.
- Let patties rest thirty minutes at room temperature before grilling.
- Prepare medium-hot fire charcoal grill. When grill is ready, brush rack with vegetable oil so that meat doesn't stick. Place patties on rack, cover, cook, turn only once until done to preference, approximately 5 minutes each side (depending on size). Immediately before removing from grill, top with cheese.
- Let burgers rest for five minutes.
- Brush sourdough with olive oil; grill lightly.
- Spread basil pesto on bread. Add toppings of your choice such as tomatoes, red onion slices, arugula, etc.
Grace Grits and Gardening
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