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Burgers l’Italia with Fig- Rosemary Glaze & Gorgonzola Mousse

My travels around various regions of Italy were the inspiration for this burger. Although each region has distinct flavors, ingredients, and preparation methods, I had difficulty finding “just one” that I loved more than another- I longed for specialties of each region upon my return home. In this recipe, I combined some bold, yet complimentary flavors, to create a fond memory of the many places I’ve been.

Ingredients 

For the Gorgonzola Mousse:
1 head garlic
1 Tablespoon Colavita Olive Oil
1 cup Heavy Cream
4 oz gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
½ teaspoon kosher salt
For the patties:
28 ounces ground chuck
½ cup pecorino cheese
4 ounces prosciutto, ground very finely in a food processor
4 garlic cloves, minced very finely
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, ground in a spice grinder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
For the Fig & Rosemary Glaze:
1 cup Fig preserves or marmalade
4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¾ teaspoon fresh rosemary, ground in a spice grinder
For the fennel topping:
2 shallots, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup Colavita extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 bulb fennel, tops removed, trimmed, and shaved into thin slices
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 Tuscan bread rolls, split, (or 4x4” pieces of crusty Italian bread, split)

Instructions 

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high. To make the gorgonzola mousse: Slice about ¼”-1/2” off the top of the head of garlic. Drizzle it with olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil. Place the packet on an area of the grill that is not directly on the flames. Grill for 30 minutes and begin checking the garlic. When the cloves are soft and easily removable from the skin, the garlic is ready. Depending on the grill heat, it may take more or less time. When the garlic is finished, remove from the grill and cool. Pop the cloves out with your fingers, and mash in a bowl with a fork. In a separate bowl, whip cream with a mixer or whisk to stiff peaks. Gently fold in the garlic, gorgonzola, and salt. Set aside in a cool location. To make the patties: Combine the chuck, pecorino, prosciutto, garlic, rosemary, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Mix very gently to combine, being careful not to over mix the meat. Divide the meat into six equal portions, making a small indention in the middle to prevent the burgers from bulging. Set aside. To make the Fig & Rosemary Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk fig preserves, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Set aside. To make the fennel topping: In a large bowl, combine shallots, vinegar, and olive oil. Whisk until blended. Toss in the fennel and salt, and stir gently to combine. Set aside. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil Grill the patties with the grill top closed for 4 minutes. Turn and grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the patties registers 160 degrees F (for medium), about 4 minutes longer. During the final 2 minutes of cooking, spread a generous amount of glaze over the burgers (both sides) being careful not to burn the glaze. During the last 2 minutes of grilling the patties, place the rolls, cut side down, on the grill to toast. To assemble the burgers, add the patties to the bottoms of the rolls. Top each with about ¼ cup of the fennel topping. Spread a generous dollop of the mousse on each roll top, and place them on top of the burgers. Makes 6 burgers

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