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Flag of Italy Artichoke Red Pepper Burger with Lemon-Herb Mayo

I love cooking. I am a novice cook who just recently discovered what real cooking is all about. My family and friends are reaping the benefits and loving every moment of it. They think I am a pro. As I watch Food Network I am amazed by the knife skills and hope one day to be able to prep as quickly and still keep all my digits attached. I love cooking with fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables. I rarely purchase meat from the grocery store. Bobby Flay has me looking for butchers with fresh meat. Giada and Rachel have me going to Italian Specialty stores for pancetta. Bobby stumped our local Italian store when I asked for fresh made ricotta. They were just learning to make fresh mozzarella balls. I have to drive 35 miles into the city of Pittsburgh where I was raised to find quality products. It is well worth the trip. This summer we have enjoyed roasting fresh vegetables on the grill. I never cared for bell peppers and now we eat them at least once a week. My favorite is the red pepper because it is so sweet. I had to have it on this burger and I thought it would go great with the Artichoke and Parmesan cheese. I grew a real herb garden this summer with basil, flat leaf parsley, rosemary, sage, cilantro, dill, thyme and chives. We are enjoying them daily. The lemon-herb mayo that tops this burger is like the icing on the cake. My inspiration comes from my love of good food. Not only do I love to eat but I find great joy in seeing others who enjoy food as much as I do. For me, it is a gastronomical experience that pleases on so many levels. Such as in Rachel Ray's roll of the eyes and moans of delight when she tastes something pleases her palate. Or in Giada DeLaurentis' little dance that she does and Paula Deen's Princess Bites. These are people who truly enjoy food. They enjoy cooking and eating. This is how I feel.

Ingredients 

1 can of Artichoke Hearts in brine (extra small size 10-12)
2 teaspoons of minced roasted garlic from a jar 
1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese(purchase grated from cheesemonger)
1-3/4 cup of Mayonnaise divided Use (3/4 cup for filling and 1 cup for Mayo)
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon of sweet basil (10 leaves)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2-1/2 pounds of ground chuck
1 teaspoon of smoked sea salt
1 tablespoon of grill seasoning
 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup of Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil for grilling peppers
3 small Sweet Red Bell Peppers
1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
6 Romaine Heart lettuce leaves
6 Ciabatta rolls
Vegetable oil for greasing grill

Instructions 

Mix Filling for Burgers Drain Artichoke Hearts in a small colander. Finely chop Artichoke Hearts with a utility or tomato knife. Squeeze out excess liquid and transfer to a 1 quart bowl. Add roasted garlic, cheese and ¾ cup of mayo to bowl. Mix well with a mixing spoon. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use. Pre-heat gas grill to medium high heat so that flames are just barely licking around the edges of the grill burner plate. Take the 3 red peppers and cut each of them in half on a cutting board. Remove the top and clean out all the seeds and spine. Put them in a 2 quart bowl with the olive oil. Coat the peppers well. Drain off any excess oil into a waste bowl. Lightly salt the peppers with the kosher salt, and cover. Set aside. Mix Mayonnaise for Rolls With a Santoku knife chop flat leaf parsley on a clean dry cutting board and put in a 1 pint bowl. Then chop the basil and place in the bowl with the chopped parsley. With a micro plane lemon zester, zest 1 teaspoon of lemon zest into the bowl with the herbs. Then combine the lemon-herb mixture with 1 cup of mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate so that the flavors can marry. Creating the Burgers Combine sea salt and Essence in a small spice bowl and mix well. This will make for a better distribution and less meat handling. In a large 5 quart bowl mix ground chuck, sea salt with grill sesoning and Worcestershire sauce. Handle the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. One a separate large cutting board or work area divide meat into twelve equal balls of mixture. Flatten and shape patties into consistent size squares. Put in two rows of six so you have a top and a bottom for the burger. Take Artichoke mixture and place about two tablespoons of mixture onto the six bottom patties with a tablespoon. Spread out the mixture leaving enough room at the edges to seal with top patty. Carefully place the top patty over each of the bottom patties one by one. Seal edges with fingertips being careful not to squeeze any of the mixture out of the patty. Pour Vegetable oil into a small dish. Use a long handled silicone basting brush to coat the grill surface with the Vegetable Oil. Place red peppers on the grill. Roast the peppers until they have a nice char on the skin. This will take 15-20 minutes. Remove the peppers from the grill with grilling tongs and put on a plate. Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil to keep them warm but allow them to cool down enough to be handled. Place the burgers on the grill. Grill the burgers for 5-7 minutes and then flip with a large spatula. Allow to grill an additional 5-7 minutes and then remove from grill. Place on a plate and cover with heavy duty aluminum foil to keep warm and moist. With a small sharp paring knife and your fingers remove skins from red peppers and discard skin. Cut peppers in half again so that each pepper is now in quarters. This will allow them to lay more flat on the burger. Cover again to keep warm. Rinse Romaine lettuce with cold water and pat dry. Wrap in paper towels to keep crisp and dry. Cut the Ciabatta rolls open with a serrated bread knife. Place rolls cut side down on grill until they are lightly toasted. Flip and allow top to warm but not toast. Remove from grill and put on a plate. Take lemon-herb mayo and spread onto top bun with a butter knife. Place romaine lettuce on bottom of the bun. Place burger on top of lettuce and top with roasted pepper. Place top bun onto burger and serve. Enjoy with gusto!! In case the flag of Italy needs explanation. When the burger is cut in half or eaten it has three layers of color. The green for the romaine lettuce, the white for the artichoke filling and the red from the red pepper. Thus, the colors of the flag of Italy.

Comments 

What can I say?? PICK ME!! Try my burger, you will not be disappointed. See you in Napa.