This is something to make if you have leftover pesto you don't want to waste. I still have a good deal remaining from my last batch, when I combined the ingredients of a traditional Genoese pesto with sun-dried tomatoes and a single habañero chile, so I was pleased to find such a good use for it.
In addition to a decent quantity of pesto, the recipe requires ground meat, frozen green beans, garlic, an habañero chile, some fresh mushrooms, and mayonnaise, as well as something to eat the burgers on, if you like a bun or bun-equivalent.
• Put the meat in a mixing bowl or something that serves the same purpose. I used about two pounds, the amount for which the rest of the recipe is written.I have to say, being the connoisseur of burgers that I am, that this recipe came out even better than I'd anticipated. The green beans keep them moist, the pesto works beautifully both cooked in the burgers and raw in the mayonnaise, and the habañero adds just the right amount of bite to bring out the range of flavors. I'll be making this one again and again.
• Chop up between one and two cups of frozen green beans until most of the pieces are shorter than the finger portion of your fingernail. I used the skinny French sort that Trader Joe's sells to good effect. Add to the meat, stirring until little bits of bean are visible throughout. It's better if the beans are still frozen when you start cooking the patties, so don't leave the meat mixture sitting around too long.
• Chop up some fresh garlic cloves or the frozen equivalent -- I used six cubes of the latter, also purchased at Trader Joe's -- together with the single habañero chile and the mushrooms. Once these three ingredients are thoroughly blended, add to the meat and green beans. Mix until the garlic, chile and mushrooms are evenly distributed throughout the meat.
• Add between one and two cups of pesto to the meat mixture and blend it in thoroughly as well.
• Shape the meat into patties, being careful not to handle the mixture too much, and put them under the broiler. Flip them when the top side is fully browned.
• While the burgers are cooking, you can, if you like, toast your buns or bun-equivalents.
• Also while they are cooking, you can prepare a pesto mayonnaise to use as a topping. I used approximately three parts mayonnaise to one part pesto.
• If you want cheese on the burgers, slice a hard cheese into small, think pieces that can be added to the tops of the burgers without making too much of a drippy mess. Pull out the oven rack, apply cheese, and monitor the melting closely, lest the cheese stray from the burger. I used Manchego cheese from Spain, which is also available at Trader Joe's. Hey, the store is across the street from us! Manchego is nice because it bubbles into a light brown crust without burning.
• You may also slice tomatoes or onions to add to your burger. The former would definitely enhance the eating experience by adding a different taste and texture.
• If you made the pesto mayonnaise, remember to make liberal use of it, because it's a delicious condiment. And this isn't a low-calorie meal anyway.