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Foccacia Burgers with Grilled Ratatouille Vegetablese

I love grilled vegetables. I also love ratatouille, so I decided to experience the best of both worlds by grilling my ratatouille vegetables as a colorful and flavorful topping for a terrific juicy burger. What could be better? I chose Foccacia to continue the Mediterranean feel of the dish and added sun-dried tomatoes to match the concentrated flavors of the grilled vegetables. I hope you like it as much as my family does.


6 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
2 large yellow bell peppers
2 large red bell peppers
3 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup + 6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp. salt zest of one lemon
2 medium zucchini
2 thin oriental eggplants
1 large sweet onion (Vidalia-type)
2 lbs ground chuck
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
Vegetable oil for grill
Focaccia loaves, cut into bun size and split horizontally.


To Prep: Preheat gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill. Chop sun-dried tomatoes into coarse 1/4 inch dice. Combine with 1/3 cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon in non-reactive bowl. Place 2 yellow and two red bell peppers on grill. Turn occasionally, allowing pepper skins to char. While peppers are charring, peel and finely chop 3 large cloves garlic. Reserve. Pour 1/2 cup olive oil into a large bowl. Reserve 4 Tbsp. in one small bowl and 2 Tbsp. in another small bowl. Divide salt into 3 portions measuring 2 tsps., 1/2 tsp. and 1/2 tsp. Reserve. Remove zest from 1 lemon. Chop finely and reserve. Remove charred peppers from grill and place in paper bag to cool slightly. To Make Ratatouille Vegetables: Slice zucchini and eggplants into 1/4 inch think slices, cutting on the diagonal. Cut off ends of onion, leaving on most of the root end. Peel and cut onion into 12 wedges, allowing root end to hold each wedge together. Place zucchini, eggplant and onion in the large bowl with the 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil. Gently toss vegetables to cover with oil. Place oiled onions on the grill, turning often 'til Cooked through - about 4-5 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside on platter, fanning out layers from root end. Grill zucchini and eggplant slices 'til cooked through - about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from grill and put on platter with onions. Sprinkle all with 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside. Remove peppers from bag. Rub off charred skins. Halve peppers lengthwise. Remove stem, ribs and seeds. Cut one red pepper and the yellow peppers into inch wide strips. Place on platter with other vegetables. To Make Sweet Pepper Spread: Place remaining grilled red pepper in bowl of food processor with reserved 4 Tbsp. olive oil, 6 wedges of grilled onion, 1/2 tsp. salt and lemon zest. Pulse to blend. Set aside. To Make Patties: In large bowl, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, the wine they were soaking in, 2 tsps. salt, the 2 lbs. ground chuck, the red pepper flakes, the fresh thyme, and the 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Toss to thoroughly combine. Divide into 6 equal pieces. Form each piece into a 1 inch thick patty, handling as little as possible to keep from compacting meat. Oil grill rack with vegetable oil. Place patties on grill and cover. Cook 'til brown on bottom - about 4 minutes. Turn once and cook, uncovered, for an additional 3-5 minutes for medium. Place focaccia, cut side down, on outer edges of grill to lightly toast. Remove from heat. Brush cut sides of foccacia tops with remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil. To Assemble The Burgers: Spread a spoonful of the Sweet Pepper Spread on each bottom piece of focaccia. Next, place 3 slices zucchini and 3 slices eggplant on each. Add burgers. Top with four slices of grilled pepper and one fanned-out piece of grilled onion. Finish with oil-brushed focaccia tops. Bon Appetite!


I was unclear about the listing of ingredients. In past years, contestants have listed some ingredients repeatedly, according to their usage in different recipe elements. But in past years, there has not been such a restriction on the number of ingredients. Since there is a restriction on the number of ingredients this year, I have hoped that you would prefer a listing of ingredients which contains no redundancy. Since I use some ingrdients in multiple places in the recipe, I chose to resolve the redundancy by prepping those items at the beginning of the instructions. I hope this resolution fulfills your criterion. Thanks for the opportunity to share my recipe!