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Brie Burgers Provencal

 This recipe was inspired by the bigger than life tastes of the sunny Mediterranean region of France. It is a tantalizing blend of beef, brie, and fresh citrus grilled to perfection then topped with a lemon & olive tapenade. Tangy blue cheese and fresh flower petals add to the rich tapestry of flavors all sandwiched on a crispy baguette. Bon Apetit!


Meyer Lemon & Olive Tapenade
¼ Cup Pine Nuts
1 ½ Cups *Black & Green Mixed olives in olive oil, drained pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2 Cups Fresh Meyer Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Capers, rinsed and drained
2 ½ Tablespoons Sugar
6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened (divided, 2 tablespoons for the tapenade and reserve 4 Tablespoons to butter the baguettes)
2 Teaspoons Fresh Meyer Lemon Zest
1 ½ Tablespoons Herbes de Provence
½ Teaspoon Ground White Pepper
2 Pounds Ground Chuck
5 Ounces Double Cream Brie (room temperature & rind removed) Vegetable oil for brushing on grill racks
2 18-inch French Baguettes
2 Teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt
4.5 Oz. Roquefort Cheese, crumbled
¾ oz. Pkg. **Edible Flower Petals


Instructions Heat gas grill to medium high. Toast pine nuts in a 10-inch heavy-bottomed skillet on the heated grill. Add olives, lemon juice, capers and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the juices have evaporated, about 10 minutes. Incorporate 2 tablespoons of butter a little at a time. (Reserve remaining butter for brushing on baguettes) When finished, olive mixture should be thick and chunky with no visible liquid. Keep warm. In a small bowl combine the lemon zest, Herbes de Provence, and white pepper; mix thoroughly. Add mixture to ground chuck, and Brie. Blend well but avoid over-compacting the meat. Divide into six patties, shaped to fit the baguettes. Brush grill with vegetable oil. Cook burgers for 4-6 minutes per side depending on doneness preference. Cut each baguette into three 5-inch lengths, discarding ends. Split each piece: brush the top and cut sides with reserved butter. Sprinkle tops with coarse sea salt. Place baguettes, cut side down on the outside edge of the grill. Lightly toast concurrently while grilling the burgers. Assembly Remove toasted baguette bottoms from the grill and spoon about ¼ cup of the warm tapenade on each. Place patty on tapenade and top with ¾ oz. of Roquefort cheese crumbles. Sprinkle with edible flower petals. Top with salted baguette.


* These olives are usually found in delicatessens or in jars as a mélange of nicoise, kalamata, Greek green & black. **The flower petals are ususally found in grocery stores with the fresh herbs, but they can be omitted if unavailable without seriously compromising the flavor of the burger.