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A Nod to Beckon Desire

I created this recipe to include some of the flavors used in my daughters favorite pizza - Beckon Desire - from Aver's Pizza in Bloomington, Indiana. Although the finished burger isn't really very much like the pizza, I'll still acknowledge Aver's idea with "A Nod to Beckon Desire".


1 10 oz. package fresh baby spinach leaves
1 bunch parsley - stems removed
3 large cloves garlic - crushed
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup + 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon - zest and juice, separated
1 14 oz. can quartered artichoke hearts - drained
2 lbs. ground chuck
1 small onion, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
9 oz. gorgonzola cheese
Vegetable oil to brush grill
Kaiser Rolls - split horizontally


To Prepare Spinach/Parsley Pesto: Place spinach, parsley, 1 clove crushed garlic, i teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and lemon zest in bowl of food processor. Process until well blended. Take out 1/4 cup pesto and set aside 'til assembly. Reserve remaining pesto in food processor. To Make Artichoke Spread: To remaining pesto in the food processor bowl, add the drained artichoke hearts. Pulse 3 times to incorporate coarsely prcsessed artichokes. Set aside 'til assembly. To Make Burgers: In a large bowl combine 2 crushed garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons salt, lemon juice, 2 lbs. ground chuck, minced onion and black pepper. Toss mixture to combine ingredients. Divide into 6 portions. Slice gorgonzola cheese into 1/4 inch slices, reserving any crumbles. Divide into six equal portions. Divide each meat portion in half. Form into 1/2 inch thick circle. Place 1/6 of the cheese on the circle, covering well to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Form other half of meat portion into a circle and place on top of cheese. Press edges to seal cheese inside the burger. Oil the grill with vegetable oil. Place burgers on rack and close grill cover. Cook 3 minutes 'til brown on bottom. Uncover and turn. Cook to taste, an additional 3-5 minutes for medium. Brush 4 Tablespoons remaining olive oil on cut sides fo Kaiser Rolls. Place on grill edges to lightly toast. Remove from grill. To Assemble Burgers: Spread generous spoonful of Spinach/Parsly Pesto on Roll bottom. Add a burger, then two heaping Tablespoons of the Artichoke Spread. Cover with bun top. Enjoy!