Summer’s Best Burger?

Salsa Verde Burger with Fontina Watermelon and Basil

Salsa Verde Burger with Fontina, Watermelon and Basil. We’ll call it the eccentric, yet amiable, aunt of the burger family. Joke about her all you want, but you KNOW she’s who you’re dying to see at the next reunion…

I wish you could see me right now, a sinister twinkle in my eyes, throwing my head back in laughter, ringing my hands. I set you up!

I bet you had no idea when I posted Creamy Avocado Salsa Verdeon Monday, that I was scheming behind the scenes. It was all part of the master-plan to introduce you to this oddly intriguing hamburger.

Hamburger Watermelon Basil

We eat a lot of hamburgers. Although my hubby would gladly dine on fine cuisine anytime the opportunity arises, he’s really a burger and pizza kind of guy.

Needless to say, when your husband craves hamburgers ALL THE TIME, you find ways to get creative with them. We’ve made a plethora of hamburger recipes over the years. It’s shocking to find that only two have made it to ASP so far:  The Little Italy Burger and The Pineapple Chorizo Burger.

The latest creation, The Salsa Verde Burger with Fontina, Watermelon and Basil, is essentially a glorified cheeseburger. The patty is a simple beef patty topped with rich melty fontina cheese. All the bells and whistles are in the “fixins”.

Watermelon on Hamburger

Instead of using plain-jane lettuce and tomato, we decided to give basil leaves and WATERMELON a go. Watermelon mimics the moist clean texture of a good slice of tomato, but offers a much sweeter bite. The delicate essence of licorice from the basil leaves, is the perfect accompaniment to the watermelon and salty cheese. Finally, creamy and zesty Salsa Verde gives the burger the necessary kick of acidity and spice to create the perfect balance of flavors.

You may ask, why watermelon? Tomatoes are so ripe and plentiful this time of year; why mess with a good thing?

If you must have a tomato on your burger, I understand. Yet, watermelon is definitely worth giving a try. Sometimes all a run-of-the-mill dinner needs, is a kick in the pants and a new ingredient.

Fontina Basil Watermeolon Burger

How to Make Perfect Hamburger Patties:

  • Don’t overwork the meat–it will get tough. Gently toss in the seasoning, keeping the ground meat loose.
  • Use a knife to separate the meat into equal portion, so you don’t have 3 uniform burgers and one “baby” burger.
  • Press the meat into a ball, then flatten on wax paper and reform the edges.
  • MAKE A DENT IN THE CENTER. The middle of a patty tends to puff while cooking. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up with hamburger balls.
  • Make the patties slightly larger than the buns. They shrink while cooking and will end up being the same size.
  • A little pink is a good thing. You don’t want to eat raw burgers, but try not to overcook the patties. Pink = Juicy!

How to Make Perfect Hamburger Patties


Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Salsa Verde Burgers with Fontina, Watermelon and Basil


2 lbs. ground beef chuck
4-6 slices of fontina cheese
4-6 buns
4-6 slices of watermelon
12 large fresh basil leaves
1 cup salsa verde
Salt and pepper


Preheat the grill to high heat. Portion and form the hamburger patties, making an indention in the centers. Salt and pepper both sides of the patties.

Slice the watermelon into 1/3 inch slices. Use a biscuit cutter to cut watermelon circles.

Grill the hamburgers for 3-5 minutes per side. Add the fontina slices to the top of each patty 1 minutes before removing from the grill. Tent with foil to keep warm.

Toast the buns on the grill for 30-60 seconds, until char marks form.

Layer the bun with 2-3 large basil leaves, a watermelon circle, the patty with cheese, and top with a large spoonful of salsa verde.

Salsa Verde Burger

Serve with:

Homemade Napa Chips

Grilled Corn with Smokey lime Mayo

Peach and Basil Salad

Provencial Style Potato Salad

Other great summer burgers:

Spicy Black Bean Burger ~ Eat Live Run

Tuna Burgers ~ Sippity Sup

Farmer’s Market Buffalo Burgers ~ Eat More Drink More

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61 Responses to “Summer’s Best Burger?”

  1. #
    marla — August 9, 2011 @ 8:26 am

    This is a whole picnic in a burger! The watermelon is thrilling :)


  2. #
    Feast on the Cheap — August 9, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

    Oh my goodness, I love that avocado salsa verde. This whole thing looks fabulous!


  3. #
    Priscilla - She's Cookin' — August 10, 2011 @ 11:30 am

    You’re so clever! I’m tasting the amazing flavors as I type :)


  4. #
    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — August 10, 2011 @ 11:35 am

    Beef + Watermelon + Basil. Yum. Thoughts on grilling the watermelon disks?


  5. #
    bianca — August 19, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

    That looks incredible!!!


  6. #
    RisaG — September 4, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

    Sounds like an interesting combination of flavors. Don’t think I would like it but I might give it a go. Don’t think anyone else around here would try it though.


  7. #
    Tiffany — August 14, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    LOVE your fontina-watermelon combo. I just put grilled peaches on my burger two days ago and folks looked at me like I was crazy! I’d eat two of your burgers (with a veggie pattie of course…)


  8. #
    Logan Paveglio — April 26, 2013 @ 11:25 am

    Hamburgers are usually a feature of fast food restaurants. The hamburgers served in major fast food establishments are usually mass-produced in factories and frozen for delivery to the site. These hamburgers are thin and of uniform thickness, differing from the traditional American hamburger prepared in homes and conventional restaurants, which is thicker and prepared by hand from ground beef. –

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