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Lingering Summer Evenings Burger

This burger was inspired by one of my favorite flavor combinations: pecans, blue cheese, onions, and pears. These flavors added to a summer hamburger turn any evening into a relaxing summer celebration. My husband and I have had many dinners eating these burgers that lingered into the evening, often with family and friends. This burger is quick and easy for any cook; the burgers can be assembled following a busy summer day or after work. The addition of the pecans in the burger offers a delicious and surprising crunch. The sweet combination of pear and onion perfectly compliment the blue cheese and spicy arugula. This wonderful burger invites everyone to relax and enjoy the evening.


2 pounds sirloin, cut into chunks
¾ cup chopped pecans
1 ¼ teaspoons salt, divided
½ teaspoon pepper, divided
2 tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing grill
4 onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
2 ripe but firm Bartlett pears, diced (and peeled if desired)
8 ounces crumbled blue cheese
3 cups arugula (prewashed)
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split


Heat charcoal grill to medium heat or preheat gas grill to medium high.

To make burgers:
In a food processor, combine pecans and sirloin. Pulse to combine; grind until meat and nuts are coarsely ground. Place meat in bowl and season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Gently shape meat into six patties. Make a small (quarter sized) dent in the middle of each patty to aid in even cooking. Place meat on plate and set aside.

In a medium skillet set on grill, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onions, brown sugar, wine, and mustard. Cook for 12 minutes, stirring often. Add pears and cook for 5 minutes, until pears are softened. Remove from heat and season with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper.

Carefully brush the hot grill rack with olive oil. Place burgers on grill and cook for 6-7 minutes on each side for medium burger. Cooking time can be reduced to 4 minutes for rare burger or increased to 10 minutes for well done. During the last two minutes of cooking time, place blue cheese on burgers and place hamburger buns on grill to toast lightly.

To assemble burgers, place pear-onion mixture followed by burger on the bottom bun. Top with arugula and top bun. Enjoy!


Ground chuck could be used in place of the sirloin, but the simple step (can be done in less than 5 minutes) of grinding the sirloin produced burgers that were incredibly moist. Both ways were tried several times and the sirloin produced a superior burger.