RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Aubergine Burger

My mother Doris' many eggplant recipes including Ratatouille and Eggplant Parmesan.

Ingredients 

Marinated Eggplant:
6 - 3.5" wide 1/4" thick eggplant slices
3/4 cup Sutter Home Merlot Wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Beef Mixture:
1.5 pounds 93% lean ground beef
2 tablespoons bottled hot sauce
1.5 teaspoons ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh oregano

Additional grilling ingredients:
6 ¼" thick tomato slices 2-3" wide
Pinch of salt
Dash of ground pepper
1 Tablespoon additional chopped fresh oregano
6 slices mozzarella cheese

Seasoned Sauce:
½ cup low fat sour cream
1/3 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon paprika

Bun assembly:
6 4"Whole wheat thin buns split
6 ¼" slices of Walla Walla Sweet Onion
12 bun size leaves bib lettuce

Instructions 

Mix marinate ingredients thoroughly in a dish large enough to hold the six eggplant slices in a single layer. Turn the slices several times to soak evenly for at least a half hour.

While the eggplant is marinating mix the sour cream sauce and refrigerate until ready to use. The onions and tomatoes can be sliced now to be ready at grilling time.

Combine the ground beef, with the seasonings and chopped fresh oregano by hand just until evenly mixed. Divide the beef mixture into six equal portions shaping each into a 4 inch patty. Place a marinated eggplant slice in the middle of each patty and flatten with your hands until an inch of the beef mixture protrudes in an even circle around the eggplant. Fold the excess burger over the sides and top of the eggplant encasing it but leaving 2-3 inches of the eggplant slice exposed. Reserve marinate for basting the patties while barbequing.

Heat the grill to medium high. Place each eggplant encased beef patty on the grill with the eggplant side down. Baste the burgers with reserved marinate and grill for 3 minutes. Turn the patties to eggplant side up and baste again with the reserved marinate. Place a tomato slice on top of each patty and season lightly with the salt, pepper and additional fresh chopped oregano. Top each with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Cover the grill and cook until the cheese softens which should be 3-4 minutes after turning the patties. Remove the patties from the grill and place the thin buns, cut side down on the grill to lightly toast them.
After toasting the inside of the buns spread the inside of the tops and bottoms with a generous amount of the sour cream sauce. Place an onion slice on each bottom, adding the patties, the bib lettuce and finally the top of the bun. Slice each assembled burger in half to reveal the beautiful layers and serve your delicious Aubergine Burgers.

Serves six

Comments 

Using fresh oregano is especially satisfying because it is forever trying to overtake my herb garden. I have yet to find anyone that has not enjoyed the fresh taste of this burger and its interesting visual layering. It is not as complicated as it sounds to create and is a beautiful yet simple meal presentation. The name Aubergine Buger is inspired by the French name for purple eggplant and lends its elegance to this simply delicious better burger.