Gourmet Burgers are all the rage at the moment with Burger joints popping up all over the place.  The thing is, I like my burger to be healthy, not oozing with orange coloured cheese, fatty bacon and limp lettuce.  This Italian inspired burger was the absolute gear, made with fresh ingredients but still comprising of that Burger ‘Wow’ factor.  Juicy beef patty, homemade pesto, aioli and a simple salad were the makings of a great burger but the thick slices of fresh mozzarella wrapped in basil leaves and thin slices of prosciutto made it a burger fit for a Mafia Boss. Bellissimo (finger tip kiss!)


Prep time:  20  Minutes                    Cooking time:  30  Minutes                $$  Medium Budget


Serves 4


500gm beef mince  (I like to use regular for burgers, stops the patty drying out)

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 tsp of dried oregano

1 tbs of worcestershire sauce

1 heaped tsp of dijon mustard

1 tbs of tomato paste

1 egg, whisked

Sea salt and Pepper

4 Ciabatta rolls, halved crossways

4 tbs of aioli (I use Taylors brand, nice whole egg aioli or make your own if you prefer)

4 tbs of homemade pesto (see link below for Em’s Food recipe)

Baby gem lettuce leaves

2 tomatoes, sliced

1 small red onion, sliced


For the Mozzarella parcels:


8 slices of thin prosciutto

1 whole buffalo mozzarella, sliced into 1/2cm thick rounds (plain mozzarella would be fine also)

8 basil leaves


For the Zucchini Parmesan Chips:


2 large zucchini, sliced into thick chips

1 egg, whisked

1 cup of panko crumbs

1/2 cup of finely grated parmesan

Sea salt and pepper

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling


Preheat the oven to 200°C


Place the bread crumbs and parmesan in a shallow bowl and season with a little salt and pepper.  Dip the zucchini  batons in egg and then coat with the breadcrumb mix before placing on a lined baking tray in a single layer.  Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden.


Place the mince in a large bowl with the garlic, oregano, worcestershire sauce, dijon, tomato paste and egg.  Season well with salt and pepper and use your hands to combine the mince well and then form into 4 equal sized patties.  Place them on a lined baking tray and use an egg flip to flatten down so they are approximately 1.5cm thick.  Pop in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.


To make the mozzarella parcels, lay one piece of prosciutto on a board and place a slice of mozzarella in the centre.  Lay a couple of basil leaves on top of the cheese and fold the edges of the prosciutto in.  Turn it upside down onto another piece of prosciutto (in the opposite direction to the first piece, like a cross), so that the seam side is sealed.  Fold in the edges of the second slice and pat it down to seal it.  Repeat with the remaining prosciutto etc.


Heat a BBQ plate to nice and hot (you can cook this in a pan) and cook the beef patties on both sides for approximately 5 minutes.  Set aside to rest and then cook the prosciutto parcels, seam side down first.  They will only take a few minutes either side but are ready when you can just see the cheese starting to ooze.


Place the buns on a grill for a few minutes until lightly charred on both sides.


To assemble the burger, place a nice dollop of aioli on the base of the bun.  Top with lettuce, tomato and onion slices.  Place the meat patty, mozzarella parcel and a dollop of pesto on before topping with the bun.  Serve with the zucchini chips and get ready to enter ‘Burger Heaven’.


For Em’s Food pesto, check the link below. You may use store bought and I might forgive you……


Basil Pesto