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Gorgonzola Burger with Pear Walnut topping

As a member of an Italian household, it became increasingly difficult to entice my elderly father to eat. Hamburgers were no exception. This recipe became a household favorite as it awakened his senses and brought him back memories of two of his favorite comfort foods - gorgonzola cheese and a good hearty red wine! We hope this recipe brings your family as much pleasure and happy memories as it did mine.

Ingredients 

Pear/Walnut Topping
1 large garlic clove
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage (use mandolin if you have one)
1 head radicchio, thinly sliced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
1 pear, peeled, cored, cut into slices
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 4 ounces)
Patties
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
2 pounds ground beef
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons Merlot
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
12 slices of herbed focaccia bread or load sliced horizontally in 12 sections
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons reserved pear/walnut dressing

Instructions 

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the Pear/Walnut Topping Dressing: Finely chop garlic cloves in processor. Add 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar and ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard and blend until smooth. With machine running, gradually add ½ cup of the extra-virgin olive oil and process until well blended and thickened to a mayonnaise-like consistency. Set aside. Topping Combination: Combine 1 cup cabbage, 1 cup radicchio, ½ red onion, ½ cup walnuts, and pear slices in large bowl. Pour enough dressing over topping combination to coat lightly (do not make gooey). (Cover and set aside remaining dressing for use later) Toss combined mixture (dressing and topping ingredients) well. Working in batches, sauté mixture in large skillet over medium heated grill until salad is warm and cabbage is slightly wilted, about 5 minutes. Toss mixture with 1/4 cup cheese and place on top rack of grill to keep warm. To make the patties, heat the olive oil in small fire-proof skillet on the grill rack. Add the onion and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Combine Gorgonzola and add the beef, onion, egg, and Merlot. Handling the meat as little as possible, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the herbed-focaccia bread. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done to preference, 3 to 5 minutes on each side for medium. Remove from the heat and let rest. Brush the cut sides of the herbed focaccia with the extra-virgin olive oil and place, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers brush 1 tablespoon of the dressing on each bottom focaccia, place a beef-gorgonzola patty and top with the pear-walnut topping. Add the focaccia tops and serve with a knife and fork and a good glass of hearty red wine! Makes 6 burgers

Comments 

Serve with a knife, fork and a good glass of hearty red wine!