Caprese Polenta Burger

Russ Myers


If your summers are anything like my summers, they always involve a lot of burgers; burgers on the grill, burgers at barbeques, burgers with ketchup and mustard. I’ll always opt for the hotdog , unless there is blue cheese and bacon involved. It has to do with my attitude toward burgers in general. I am not a ground beef person and eating something that consists mainly of ground beef is just not that appealing. I like treating my burgers as a vehicle for other, far more delicious items.
I think you also will enjoy this combination.

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8 Servings


20 Min


20 Min




1 1/2 lb
ground beef
2/3 c
balsamic vinegar
1 pkg
(16 to 18 ounces) refrigerated prepared polenta, cut into 8 slices
2 Tbsp
olive oil
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 pkg
(8 ounces) fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 slices
2 medium
tomatoes, cut into 4 slices each
thinly sliced fresh basil

Directions Step-By-Step

Bring vinegar to a boil in 2- quart saucepan. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 9 to 10 minutes or until reduced to 1/3 cup. Set aside.
Meanwhile lightly shape ground beef into eight 1/2- inch thick patties.

Brush polenta slices with oil. Place patties in center of grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill patties, uncovered, 11 to 12 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 9 to 10 minutes), until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160 degrees F, turning burgers occasionally and basting with 2 tablespoons reduced vinegar after turning.
Arrange polenta around patties; grill 11 to 12 minutes (for gas, grill 9 to 10 minutes) or until heated through, turning once. Season burgers with salt and pepper, as desired.
For each serving, layer 1 each polenta slice, burger, mozzarella slice and tomato slice. Drizzle with remaining vinegar and sprinkle with basil, as desired.
If prepared polenta is not available, the following may be used: Combine 3 cups water, 1 tablespoon butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large saucepan; bring to a boil. Gradually whisk in 1 cup cornmeal. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 15 minutes, stirring often. (Mixture will be very thick.) Remove from heat; cool slightly. Spoon polenta on aluminum foil-line baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and pat into 12 x 6 x 1/2-inch rectangle. Refrigerate 1 hour or as long as overnight. Cut chilled polenta into eight 3-inch circles using a cookie or biscuit cutter. Proceed as directed above.

Cook's Tip: Prepared balsamic syrup, available in large supermarkets and specialty food stores, may be substituted for balsamic reduction.Cook's Tip: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Beef, Other Main Dishes, Burgers
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American
Other Tags: Quick & Easy, For Kids, Healthy