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

Related Posts

61 Responses to “Summer’s Best Burger?”

  1. #
    raquel erecipe — August 4, 2011 @ 6:30 am

    wow some kind of fruit burger love the idea.


  2. #
    Steve @ HPD — August 4, 2011 @ 6:54 am

    when i saw the picture, i thought you were using beets, which is actually a common burger topping in new zealand.

    and when i read the salsa recipe yesterday, my first thought was, that would be so good on a burger.

    bittman did a thing on grilled veggies a couple of weeks ago, and recommended grilled watermelon as a meat substitute on a burger. so i’m guessing a grilled watermelon on top of a grilled beef patty would work as well.

    great tip on the dent concept!



  3. #
    Katarina — August 4, 2011 @ 7:06 am

    This is a great combination :) Looks so yummy!


  4. #
    RavieNomNoms — August 4, 2011 @ 8:13 am

    What an interesting and creative combination! This is an absolute must try for sure. I would never think to put watermelon with a burger, but now that I think about it I am sure the flavors compliment each other rather nicely.


  5. #
    Tina@flourtrader — August 4, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    Spicy salsa, juicy burger and sweet juicy watermelon- my mouth is watering. This is really something special-Great post-Buzz Buzz!


  6. #
    Curt — August 4, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    You’re very creative! I’d have never considered a watermelon slice on a burger. That’s a nice fat burger too. I’m a burger and pizza kinda guy too!


  7. #
    The Elegant Eggplant — August 4, 2011 @ 9:06 am

    Your pictures are unbelieveable. I love how creative this burger is… looks totally delish!


  8. #
    My Kitchen in the Rockies — August 4, 2011 @ 9:08 am

    Hi Summer, That is a great looking burger! I totally have to try the watermelon addition, love it.
    I weigh my patties and use a nut jar lid lined with plastic foil to press them into the round shape. It works wonderfully. Hope you are having a great summer with your kids. Kirsten


  9. #
    Nikita — August 4, 2011 @ 9:10 am

    Wow, I love that you used watermelon to replace the tomato- I will have to try that! The salsa verde also looks amazing.


  10. #
    Jeanette — August 4, 2011 @ 10:35 am

    Now that is an interesting and unusual burger – would never have thought to use watermelon in a burger! Very creative and your salsa verde goes perfectly ;)!


  11. #
    mjskit — August 4, 2011 @ 10:55 am

    This is probably one of the most unique recipes I’ve seen in a while! Great job! Love everything about it – salsa verda, watermelon – and it’s a burger! Yum!


  12. #
    Barbara | Creative Culinary — August 4, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

    Makes me crave a big, juicy burger. I’m game…heck if I just made goat barbecue I can surely try watermelon on a burger!


  13. #
    Kathleen — August 4, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

    Love this combo. Whoda thunk watermelon? Brilliant!!!


  14. #
    Susan — August 4, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

    WHAT!!!???!!! Watermelon, basil, and salsa verde? That burger is one pampered bit of beef! I am intrigued!


  15. #
    Tricia B — August 4, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

    I don’t even like ground beef that much but now all I can think about is Having a burger with sweet melon! Thanks a lot !!! ;)


  16. #
    krystina muller — August 4, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

    OMG! THE BEST burger I’ve EVER had!
    Thanks so much for sharing ;-D.


  17. #
    Linda — August 4, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

    Wow.. watermelon on a burger! That’s a real twist! I could so see your salsa verde topping this so nicely. Very creative, can’t wait to try it out.


  18. #
    Angie's Recipes — August 4, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

    Talk about the creativity! And 2nd photo makes my mouth droooooooooooooooooooooooooool. I meant it.


  19. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — August 4, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

    Watermelon – now that is creative! Never would have known by the way you cut them – sneaky!


  20. #
    Cindy B. — August 4, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

    Very original! I like that, sometimes it good to mix things up a little bit. That’s where great recipes comes from.


  21. #
    carolinaheartstrings — August 4, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    What a wonderfully different burger. I love the melding of all the different items. Delicious I am sure. Come over and see us today. We have a really delicious Southern favorite.


  22. #
    Carolyn — August 4, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

    Watermelon on a burger? Okay, I’d give it a whirl. Why not!


  23. #
    MaryMoh — August 4, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

    What a special burger…with watermelon!! Has to be good for summer.


  24. #
    Emilie — August 4, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

    Could this possibly be more vibrant and beautiful? What a delicious-looking burger! We rarely get hungry just looking at photos, but this one has us running home to create this dish!


  25. #
    Georgia Pellegrini — August 4, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

    This has seriously rocked my world. I really, really want to eat this as soon as possible.


  26. #
    thisoldbroad — August 4, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

    This sounds like an extraordinary burger! Watermelon.. who’d have thought! Thanks for sharing, this will liven up our grilled burgers this weekend.


  27. #

    Oh, Sommer, those burgers are amazing. The cheese oozing down the side; no wonder your husband could eat those time after time. I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to try this with watermelon. I’d like to say yes, but I don’t know. I agree about the pinkness of the meat though. In fact, I lean towards more light red than pink. :)


  28. #
    Ann — August 4, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

    Absolutely fabulous! Believe it or not – I’m the eccentric, yet amiable aunt in my family! You made me smile!


  29. #
    Shirley — August 4, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

    I have my doubts about watermelon in savory recipes, but this looks so good and juicy I’d eat it!


  30. #
    Katie@Cozydelcious — August 4, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

    OMG. Watermellon on a burger?????? YES! And you even made it look so pretty with those perfect round watermellon slices. I have got to try this!


  31. #
    torviewtoronto — August 4, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

    watermelon in the burger wow innovative lovely loaded burger


  32. #
    Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} — August 4, 2011 @ 8:45 pm

    I love that you used watermelon on a burger! Dishes that combine sweet, savory, and spicy are faves. I bet the flavors marry perfectly!


  33. # — August 4, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

    I just pulled this up and this is so what I need right now! Minus the watermelon, plus a tomato slice. :))


  34. #
    Hester Casey @ Alchemy in the Kitchen — August 5, 2011 @ 4:58 am

    Wow! That really is a crazy aunt of a burger! Tho, as you say, they’re the ones you most look forward to seeing. Stunning, mouthwatering photos. You’ve just set off a burger craving. Must… have… watermelon…


  35. #
    Dmarie — August 5, 2011 @ 6:53 am

    you sure have piqued my interest to try one!!


  36. #
    Parsley Sage — August 5, 2011 @ 7:54 am

    That’s like the coolest idea EVER! My next burger will most definitely rock some watermelon :) Buzzed


  37. #
    Maris (In Good Taste) — August 5, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

    Such creativity! Looks delicious!


  38. #
    Sippitysup — August 5, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

    Thanks for the link that is so nice. now let me revel some in your creation. GREG


  39. #
    Mandy @ Cater to Me — August 5, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

    Okay, this is the COOLEST thing I have ever seen. I only recently tried watermelon with cheese, and have seriously been having it at least once a week since. This like likes such a great way to turn that obsession in to something a little more substantial and creative! Love it.


  40. #
    alyce — August 6, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

    Very interesting. I think you are on to something here.


  41. #
    Monet — August 7, 2011 @ 8:25 am

    I’m officially drooling (this happens often when I visit here). What a great flavor combination. This looks so delicious, and it is a yummy way to start my Sunday morning. I hope you have a beautiful day full of laughter and love, my friend!


  42. #
    Helena — August 7, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    Hello I really like your blog. I think you have much imagination and interesting dishes, I’ve done one of your recipes and I really liked. Greetings from Spain.


  43. #
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — August 7, 2011 @ 11:12 am

    never thought of watermelon on a hamburger! It sounds intrigueing… :) Thanks for the burger tips – I need them!


  44. #
    5 Star Foodie — August 7, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

    I love the idea of a watermelon in the burger, very neat!


  45. #
    Debi Shawcross — August 7, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

    I know I love watermelon and basil together, why not add a burger and some cheese?


  46. #
    Bonnie at Sweet Life — August 8, 2011 @ 1:42 am

    I would love to try this burger!! water,melon with salsa verde, really does it get nay better..i think not..


  47. #
    Kita — August 8, 2011 @ 6:56 am

    oooh this burger does look pretty freakin outstanding!


  48. #
    Magic of Spice — August 8, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

    Very creative and very summer loving style burger :) Truly great flavors working together here!


  49. #
    carrian — August 8, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

    This looks so incredible!


  50. #
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — August 9, 2011 @ 6:56 am

    This is officially the most creative burger I’ve seen in quite some time. And that’s saying something…with all the twists on burgers that are out there!


  51. #
    marla — August 9, 2011 @ 8:26 am

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


  52. #
    Feast on the Cheap — August 9, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

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


  53. #
    Priscilla - She's Cookin' — August 10, 2011 @ 11:30 am

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


  54. #
    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — August 10, 2011 @ 11:35 am

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


  55. #
    bianca — August 19, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

    That looks incredible!!!


  56. #
    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.


  57. #
    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…)


  58. #
    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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