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Bachelorette Burgers (Gorgonzola Bacon Burgers with Watermelon and Tomato Relish)

One of the ways I decided to celebrate my 35th wedding anniversary was to have the bachelorette party I never had in 1972. My five bridesmaids had scattered to four different states, yet each one made a special effort last month to attend my weekend party at the lake. In college we used to go on camp-outs together, so grilled burgers were tradition for us; this is my way of honoring them. One bridesmaid traveled from Texas and the Serrano chili and cilantro are favorites of hers. Two live in Iowa, so crispy bacon seemed only natural. One of them has always loved Gorgonzola cheese and another insists on multi-grain bread. My watermelon and tomato salad was the hit of the weekend, so I turned it into a relish to top the burgers. The radicchio evokes memories of those purple dresses I made them wear. Like the mixture of flavors in this burger, my husband and I enhance each other. He says this recipe turned out like our marriage of 35 years– sometimes just you need a little watermelon relish to cool off that sassy burger!

Ingredients 

1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 Tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 cup diced watermelon (seeds removed)
1/2 cup diced tomato (seeds removed)
1/2 cup minced red onion, divided
1/2 cup minced cilantro, divided
6 slices bacon, diced
2 minced cloves garlic
1 minced Serrano chili pepper (seeds removed)
2 lbs ground chuck
4 oz crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing grill rack
6 multi-grain hamburger buns, split
6 radicchio leaves to fit buns

Instructions 

Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat, or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover.

Combine lime zest, lime juice, honey, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium non-reactive bowl; mix well. Stir in watermelon, tomato, 1/4 cup onion, and 1/4 cup cilantro. Set aside.

Preheat a large, heavy fire-proof skillet on the grill; add bacon and cook until crisp. Reserving dripping, use slotted spoon to transfer bacon pieces to paper towels. Remove and discard all but 2 Tablespoons of drippings; add 1/4 cup onion and sauté 2-3 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and Serrano chili; sauté about 1 minute. Pour into a large bowl; add ground chuck, Gorgonzola cheese, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and bacon pieces. Mix lightly, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit buns.

When grill is ready, brush grill rack with oil. Place patties on the rack and cover. Cook, turning once, until done to preference; about 5-7 minutes per side for medium. Place buns, cut side down, around outer edges of grill during last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble burgers, place radicchio leaves on buns, top with equally divided relish, followed by patties. Add bun tops and enjoy with good friends!

Makes 6 burgers

Comments 

I seed the tomato to prevent the relish from getting watery. Since, I prefer the condiments next to the meat, I place radicchio leaves on the buns first, then the relish and then the patty. That way the meat absorbs the flavors and the bun doesn’t get soggy.