Devour This: Caprese Sliders

subburger1I’ve always loved Italian caprese salads, with their basic components of ripe roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and fragrant, fresh basil leafs. Recently, it occurred to me that maybe the same caprese combo—plus beef—would make an interesting slider.
So, I created a caprese-type beef slider. And, I have to say, it was much better than I’d expected.
I don’t list exact amounts here, since obviously you could make a couple sliders or a couple dozen, depending on your needs. However, using one pound of meat produces about 9-12 sliders, depending on their size.

1 pound ground beef or your favorite slider blend. I like to grind my own beef using a ratio of 85 percent chuck and 15 percent sirloin. You can make turkey, lamb, chicken, veggie or any other type of sliders using this basic formula.

1-2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh ripe tomatoes, preferably roma, sliced
Fresh burrata or mozzarella cheese, sliced
Fresh basil leafs—about a dozen
Olive oil
Slider buns
Garlic aioli (optional)

Place the ground meat in a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese to the ground meat. Fold gently into the meat until well-blended.
Form the meat mixture into 9-12 slider patties. You can do this by hand. My wife bought me a slider making kit from Sur La Table, which I use here. I can’t say I really recommend it, though, as the meat tends to stick to the implements. Sometimes just using your God-given hands is best!
Brush the slider buns lightly with olive oil and toast briefly in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 3-4 minutes.
Using a pre-heated outdoor grill or skillet indoors, grill the sliders on both sides (in batches, if necessary), until cooked the way you like—rare will take just a minute or less on each side if the sliders are thin.
subburger4Place the cooked slider patties on the toasted buns, followed by slices of mozzarella or burrata, tomato and basil.
I like to dress my sliders with a little garlic aioli, but you can eat them as they are or add whatever additional subburger5dressings or condiments you’d like.

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