RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Italian American Burger

The inspiration for this burger comes from the simple flavors I grew up with in a small suburb outside of New York City. Growing up with so many Italian Americans who moved to get away from the crowded city streets, I find these flavors offer comfort, much like a glass of red wine.

Ingredients 

Eggplant

6 slices of eggplant with skin on, sliced to1/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon of salt
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Patties

1 cup frozen diced onions
1/4 pound prosciutto, diced
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1.75 pounds of ground sirloin
20 medium fresh basil leaves, torn into large pieces
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella (in the deli section at your grocer or at a local Italian deli), shredded

Buns

6 1/2 inch thick slices of Italian bread from middle of a round loaf of Italian bread
1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Instructions 

Directions

Preheat a gas grill to medium high.

To make the eggplant slices, lay them flat on a platter or tray and sprinkle both sides with salt, garlic, and red pepper. Brush with olive oil and grill approximately 5 minutes on each side. Keep the eggplant tender by using remaining olive oil to baste as needed on the grill. Drain on paper towel and put in refrigerator to promote cooling.

To make the patties, saute the onions and prosciutto in extra virgin olive oil, using a grill safe pan for approximately 5-9 minutes, or until onions become translucent. Add the onions and prosciutto to the sirloin along with the basil and shredded mozzarella. Allow mixture to cool slightly and then mix well. Form into 6 patties.

Place on grill for approximately 5- 7 minutes on each side, flipping only once.

Meanwhile prepare the "buns" by brushing one side of each piece of Italian bread with olive oil and then sprinkling on the shredded pecorino romano cheese. During the last few minutes of grilling the burgers, toast the Italian bread lightly on each side.

To assemble the burgers, take one slice of toasted Italian bread with olive oil and cheese topping facing upwards on a plate. Top with a patty and add a cooled slice of eggplant. Take another piece of toasted Italian bread with the olive oil and cheese side facing down and place on top of the eggpant.

Comments 

This burger deserves a glass of wine and a lighted candle!