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Bruschetta Burgers

I created this recipe using a variety of my favorite bruschetta toppings. One usually thinks of a bruschetta as an open-faced appetizer on toasted baguette slices, but it has a larger meaning. The word bruschetta is derived from the Italian word bruscare meaning "to heat over coals". Once you taste this delicious burger, I hope the word bruschetta will take on a larger meaning for you too. Enjoy!


Tomato Relish:
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons fresh basil, 1/2 cup for relish and 2 tablespoons for patties
1 half of a small red onion, coarsely chopped
5 plum tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon for relish and 3 tablespoons for ciabatta rolls
4 cloves garlic, 2 cloves minced for relish and 2 whole cloves for ciabatta rolls
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Goat Cheese Pesto:
1/2 cup goat cheese
6 tablespoons prepared pesto sauce
Patties: 1/1/2 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound Italian sausage 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 ciabatta rolls, spilt
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 whole garlic cloves


Preheat a gas grill to medium high. Place 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves and red onion in a food processor. Pulse until basil and onion is finely chopped. Place the chopped basil and onion in a medium bowl and add diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, 1 tablespoon oilve oil, 2 tablespoons minced garlic, and balsamic vinegar to the bowl. Stir until well combined and set aside. To make the goat cheese pesto, place goat cheese and pesto in a cleaned food processor. Process until blended. Set aside in a cool place. To make the patties, combine the ground chuck, Italian sausage, 2 tablespoons chopped basil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Gently mix until well combined and form into 6 patties to fit the rolls. Brush the prepared grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes of grilling, brush the cut sides of the ciabatta rolls with the reserved olive oil. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edge of the rack to toast. Remove the patties and rolls from the grill. Peel the 2 remaining garlic cloves and rub the garlic over the top cut side of each roll. To assemble the burges, spread the goat cheese pesto evenly over the bottom cut sides of the roll. Then place a patty on each roll bottom and then top each patty with an even portion of the tomato relish. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers