As you might know, I was home in Massachusetts this weekend for my sister Emma’s college graduation. This was also my last time in this house until my parents move to Rhode Island in a couple weeks. My family moved to this house when I was in 5th grade, but we’ve lived in Westborough since I was just under 2 years old.
There’s not much to do in Westborough, which my friends and I have complained about since high school, but it was a great town to grow up in. The restaurant choices are nothing compared to NYC, but I always look forward to visiting Uhlman’s Ice Cream and Red Barn Coffee Roasters as part of nostalgic tradition.
I can’t say that I’m all that sad about my parents moving out of my childhood home, since I haven’t really lived there for the past 3 years, but it was definitely weird to think that every ice cream or iced coffee I had would be my last in Westborough.
So for our last Memorial Day barbecue in Westborough, I decided to make something that I knew my whole family would savor: Caprese-Pesto Chicken Burgers. There are few things my family devours more than mozzarella and pesto, so I knew this combination of our favorite foods – caprese salad and pesto – would end one of our last memories here on a high note. And they certainly did not disappoint.
I also served up Ina Garten’s potato salad and a simple mixed greens salad with lemon-dijon vinaigrette; but not surprisingly, the chicken burgers were the star of the night. I think these Caprese-Pesto Chicken Burgers are sure to become a new tradition for many summers to come, regardless of where we live.
Caprese-Pesto Chicken Burgers
1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
2 tbsp basil pesto plus extra for serving (I used my Mom’s homemade pesto, but store bought is fine!)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5-7 slices fresh mozzarella
5-7 basil leaves
5-7 tomato slices (about 2 small tomatoes)
5-7 whole wheat burger buns
1 tbsp olive oil
1. In a large bowl, gently mix together ground chicken, pesto, salt and pepper. Form into 5-7 burger patties and refrigerate at least 20 minutes before grilling.
2. Turn on the grill to medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray or brush with oil. Once the grill is hot, add the burgers. They’re ready to flip when they no longer stick to the grill, about 4-5 minutes.
3. Lightly brush the insides of the burger buns and toast cut-side down on the grill until just golden, about 5 minutes.
4. Add a slice of mozzarella cheese to each burger at this time. Close the grill cover and continue cooking until cheese is just melted and burgers are cooked through.
5. To serve, spread a dollop of pesto on the bun, then add the burger and top with a slice of tomato and a basil leaf.