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Burger season is in full swing. What is your favorite topping? I love traditional mayo, ketchup and mustard. But I also like to mix things up by using different condiments like say Bourbon BBQ Sauce, Bacon Aioli or Caramelized French Onion Dip. It’s fun. And now I have a new favorite topping to add to the list. And this one just screams summer: Grilled Tomato and Basil.
Every summer I plant a garden. Well I should say every summer since we’ve owned our home. In these past 5 years, I have been learning what is best to plant for our family. I’m learning what we eat a lot of so we should plant versus what we should just keep buying at the grocery store. For instance, we love zucchini but we don’t eat nearly as much as a zucchini plant grows. We also don’t eat a ton of carrots so I don’t plant those either.
On the other hand we eat a ton of green beans so I plant a few of those. Kale and cucumbers are the same.
But tomatoes? They are in a league all their own. I snack on them like they are candy. To me there is nothing better than a perfectly sun-ripened fresh tomato. Each year I plant at least 4 plants. I plant a green zebra plant, a cherry tomato plant, a plum tomato plant and then usually a variety that I haven’t tried yet. This year I picked up a “bloody butcher” plant. They are supposed to give me tomatoes early which I’m pretty stoked about. I already have about 5 growing. So. Excited.
I first got the idea to make this grilled tomato basil burger when I was thinking about this Roasted Tomato & Smoked Provolone Grilled Cheese. I got to thinking that that would be a great way to top a burger. But then I started thinking that since the grill would be on why not grill the tomatoes first. Someone suggested to me that I put them in an aluminum foil pouch and grill them that way so that all of the juices would accumulate in the pouch.
I liked where this was going.
I decided to spruce things up a bit with some fresh garlic and basil leaves.
The tomato flavor is so concentrated. If you are a tomato lover you are going to love this. Not only do you scoop the scrumptious tomatoes onto the burger, you spoon all of the juices as well. It really is a tomato lovers dream.
The basil and smoked provolone (pssst…Tillmaook is the best) are just bonuses.
Preheat grill to medium heat.
Prepare the burger patties. Mix together ground beef, Worcestershire, salt, garlic and pepper together. Use your hands to mix well. Divide into 4 equal parts and form into patties. Make the patties a little bigger than the burger buns because they will shrink when cooking.
Mix the cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper together in a bowl. Toss to coat. Place on top of a sheet of aluminum foil and bring the foil up at the sides to close them, then close the top.
Place tomatoes on the grill and cook 5 - 7 minutes or until they burst and release their juices. Remove tomatoes from the grill, allow to cool for a few minutes. Carefully open the aluminum foil and sprinkle with basil.
Place the burgers on the grill and grill until cooked through, about 3 - 5 minutes per side. During the last minute place the provolone on top of the burger. Continue cooking until it melts slightly.
To assemble a burger: place patty on bottom bun, spoon tomatoes over the top. Spread mayonnaise on top bun and place on top of burger. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
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