Photos by Emily Caruso
Tomato, basil and mozzarella sandwiches and veggie burgers are two vegetarian staples on restaurant menus. This recipe is what happens when you combine the two into one mind-blowing sandwich.
Yes, I said mind-blowing. Because it’s really really good. First, you have the burger patty. The concentrated flavors of tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes make for a boldly flavored veggie burger; this is not a burger that tastes like beans or quinoa or oats! Breadcrumbs and cheese add even more deliciousness, in addition to helping bind the patties together. Because homemade veggie burgers are a little bit delicate, they’re baked in the oven until lightly browned and slightly crisp on the edges—although if you’ve got a hankering for a grilled burger, you can bake these until they’re set and then transfer them to the grill to finish cooking.
Then we’ve got the toppings. It’s like caprese on a bun! I like using slices of fresh mozzarella, but provolone works too; melt that on your burger, then add a slice of tomato and basil leaves. The pièce de résistance is a balsamic reduction drizzled over the top—to make it, bring about a cup of balsamic vinegar to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and let it cook until thickened and sweet. And if you’re not a vinegar fan, no worries–a dollop of basil pesto or garlic aïoli works too.
These caprese-inspired burgers are the perfect summer dinner.
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