The Goddess was thinking about pizza for dinner or maybe a burger, but it was raining most convincingly. We’re talking monsoon, get-out-the-hip-waders! This was ark-building-type of downpour!…and this is the dry season in Florida…thank Goddess there’s no global warming…or the weather might be totally crazy! But, I digress. Anyway, we didn’t want to go out, lest the car float away, so we stayed in. I realized I had pretty much everything needed to make either one, so I decided to combine the two and thus, the pizza burger was born! I was going to put all the “stuff” on top of the burger, but then it’s just going to fall apart and I hate that. I don’t mind messy; I embrace messy. I love to lick mayo off of my fingers, but there are limits. I wanted all the good stuff, without the messiness (The Spicy Honey isn’t into finger-licking good!), open-faced seemed the way to go.
This is a quick dinner; it’s on the table in under 30 minutes. It’s this simple. Sauté frozen (or fresh) bell pepper strips, pepperoni, onion, mushrooms in a hot skillet, just until they begin to go limp. Set that mixture aside, and toss in the fresh basil. In the same skillet, fry the burgers (85/15 mix of ground chuck); we’re not losing any of that flavor? Remember not to move the burgers around; leave them along, then turn them and finish cooking them—this will take no more than 5-6 minutes in total, for medium. I had potato bread (you can see it in the upper right corner), so I toasted lightly. I would prefer a more substantial bread, but there was that monsoon….Place the bread on the plate. Top with a burger, some veggies, pizza sauce, and finally, cheese. If the pizza sauce is hot enough, the cheese will begin to melt slightly. If you have plates that will are oven-safe, then pop the plates into the oven, just until the cheese is melted. Now, pour yourself a glass of red wine, get a knife and fork and you will be hungry no more!
Open-Faced Pizza Burger
- 8-12 ounces of 85% lean ground beef, formed into 2 4-inch patties
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 large mushrooms, sliced
- 8-10 slices pepperoni, cut into julienne strips
- 1/4 cup frozen or fresh bell pepper strips
- 1/4 onion, thinly sliced
- 2-3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil (or pesto)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup pizza sauce
- 1/2 cup pre-shredded pizza cheese or 6 cheese Italian blend
- 2 slices potato bread, toasted
- Parmesan cheese for garnish
Form the patties; they should be no more than 1/2-inch thick and about 4 inches in diameter. Chill until thoroughly cold, at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Heat a skillet over high heat. Add the oil; then the mushrooms. Let them brown well, before turning, about 3-4 minutes. Add the pepperoni, peppers and onions and sauté briefly; you want the veggies to have some “tooth”. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper. Remove and set aside while you prepare the burgers. Put the bread in the toaster; but don’t toast it yet!
Reheat the skillet over reasonably high heat. Season the burger with salt and pepper. Carefully place the burgers in the pan and do not move them. Leave them alone for at least 2-3 minutes. Turn, lower the heat to medium and brown on the opposite side, about 3-5 minutes, for medium. You’ll need to cook them longer if you want them well-done.
While the burgers fry, heat the pizza sauce; you just need to warm it through. Make the toast. To assemble: Place a slice of toast on each plate. Place burger or pizza sauce on the bread, veggie toppings and pizza sauce, then cheese. That’s it!
Open-Faced Pizza Burger Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.
You could, of course, make the patties with Italian sausage, if you wish. I’ve made this again a couple of times and I used pesto once…very yummy! You can run the whole thing under the broiler to really crisp and melt the cheese and you can place the burger on top of French fries or Tater Tots® (gluten-free option), instead of toast or even use meatballs…variations abound. Choose what you like on pizza, but make these…they are perfect for a really quick and delicious mid-week dinner…or a rainy (or snowy) night!