Pesto Burger Stack

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2011/10/14 by nikkiledford

This recipe was a complete accident… something that happens more often than not, actually.

I work for a family and cook for them every night and the other day I found myself standing in front of the refrigerator trying to decide how to use the random ingredients available to me. The pesto burger stack was born. Being the Paleo Chef that I am, I was not about to try to wrap this burger in a bun but I wanted this dish to have a sense of completeness that is often lacking when you put a burger patty on a plate with a side of whatever. By grilling the butternut rounds with the burgers I created a harmonious visual presentation as well as a protein/starch element that helps the dish have some complexity. And let me say, the mixture of the sweet squash with the salty pesto is heavenly.

The Stack

Pesto Burger Stack

Pesto

3 c. fresh basil leaves

2-3 cloves garlic

¼ c. walnuts

¼ c. parmesan cheese

½ c. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

Stack

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into rounds

1 lb. grass-fed ground beef

1 small red onion, minced

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced

  1. In a blender or food processor, add all pesto ingredients and puree until desired consistency, taste to adjust for more salt, garlic, or basil flavor as you desire.
  2. In a bowl, mix together red onion, beef, and garlic.
  3. Shape into patties about the same size as the butternut rounds.
  4. Oil the butternut rounds and put on a preheated grill on medium heat. About 5-10 min. each side depending on thickness. Test done-ness with a fork.
  5. Grill the burgers, about 5 min. each side on medium heat
  6. Once the squash and burgers are done, arrange stacks on a plate. Squash on the plate, then spread pesto on squash and top with burger.

Option: top burger stack with some shaved parmesan.

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1. It's generally cheaper.
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3. Easy to do in a vitamix or food processor. Just have patience because you're not making a smoothie, you're grinding nuts until they release their oils and smooth out.
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Need another reason to make your own? 
4. Customization
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This batch had a touch of vanilla and cinnamon and I can easily control the amount of saltiness.
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