Welcome everybody to the July edition of the Crazy Ingredient Challenge! What is the Crazy Ingredient Challenge? The challenge is to create a recipe with two unique ingredients that are not traditionally found in the same recipe. This month probably proved to be the most difficult yet. Spearheaded by the lovely Dawn at Spatula’s On Parade, we are a group that likes to think outside the cookbook and create some fun recipes each month. Want to know what July’s challenge is? Well, hold on to your hats…. It’s coconut and pesto!!!
Like I said, this one was a toughie. Our group picks from two lists of ingredients and the top vote-getter on each list becomes the ingredients for the challenge. What to do with coconut and pesto?
My pesto burger idea was inspired by the July/August cover of Food Network Magazine. The cover features a giant, juicy burger that you want to sink your teeth into. My burger I like to call “Tropical Italian” because it features pesto, coconut and pineapple. One important lesson learned on this pesto burger – cook it in a skillet or griddle. Or a George Foreman grill. The pineapple is so juicy that it fell apart on the barbecue grill. So that’s why it looks like a sloppy joe in the picture.
Pineapple Pesto Burger with Caramelized Coconut
- 1lb ground beef, 85/15
- 1 tablespoon jarred pesto sauce
- 1 clove garlic (crushed)
- 1 cup fresh pineapple (finely chopped)
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3 slices pineapple rings (grilled with butter & brown sugar)
- 3-4 wheat ciabatta buns (toasted)
Who would have thought pesto and coconut would go well together. I love the pesto garlic flavor of the burger (or sloppy joe, lol) with the sweetened coconut and grilled pineapple topping. This pesto burger does not need cheese, but if you decide to use cheese, I suggest a provolone to keep with the Tropical Italian theme.
I cheated and used jarred pesto from Candoni Fine Natural Foods. Although we have a nice herb garden in the yard, I didn’t have quite enough basil to whip up a batch. I found a good brand, a little higher end then what I would normally purchase because I wanted a strong pesto flavor. It was worth the extra expense since my pesto burger was delicious!
To see past challenges and the ingenious recipes our Crazy Ingredient Chefs have come up with, follow my Pinterest board.