RECIPES: Recipe Details

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PORCINI BURGERS WITH AVOCADO-ASIAGO PESTO ‘N FRESH TOMATO SALSA MEDITTERANEAN

In the fall I forage for wild mushrooms and love incorporating them into my cooking especially when making Italian dishes-thus the inspiration for my burger creation. Although I can rarely find fresh porcini mushrooms (my favorite) in our local supermarket, rehydrating the dried porcini for my burger worked well, especially using Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon instead of water. The porcini bring an earthy and somewhat nutty flavor to the burger and blue cheese slightly melted over the burger is a great pairing. I finished building my burger with an avocado-asiago pesto and fresh tomato salsa which took the burger to another level.

Ingredients 

PESTO:
1/4 cup roasted pistachio nuts
3/4 cup coarsely diced California avocadoes, from 2 medium avocadoes
3 tablespoons fresh grated California Asiago cheese
1 small peeled garlic clove, diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

SALSA:
1 cup diced Nature Sweet cherry tomatoes (small dice)
1/4 cup scallions thinly sliced diagonally ( include some green top)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup diced thin sliced prosciutto
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Colavita Balsamic Vinegar
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

PATTIES:
3/4 cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
3/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 3/4-ounce)
2 pounds ground beef chuck 80/20
3 tablespoons fresh grated California Asiago cheese
1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons coarsely ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Vegetable oil to brush grill rack

3/4 cup crumbled California Blue cheese
6 quality cracked whole wheat hamburger buns, sliced horizontally
6 large pieces fresh red leaf lettuce

Instructions 

Preheat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a charcoal grill to medium-hot.

For pesto, coarsely chop nuts in a food processor. Add avocado, Asiago, garlic, parsley, mint and lime juice. Process until blended. Slowing add oil through feeding tube and process to smooth. Transfer pesto to a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

For salsa, in a medium bowl combine tomatoes, scallions, olives, prosciutto, olive oil and vinegar; toss together then season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed. .

For patties, heat wine in a small fire-proof saucepan on grill side burner or rack. Break mushrooms into small pieces and stir into hot wine. Cover and rehydrate mushrooms 30 minutes or until soften, stirring every 10 minutes. Strain mushrooms in a fine sieve; discard wine. Cool then coarsely chop mushrooms. In a large bowl, combine mushrooms, beef, cheese, oregano, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Gently mix ingredients together using a large spoon. Form 6 patties equal in size and indent center of each patty using your thumb.

Brush vegetable oil over grill rack. Place the patties on grill rack, cover and cook turning once until desired doneness or 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium. The final few minutes of grilling, top each patty with equal amounts of blue cheese. Also place buns cut side down on grill rack and toast lightly.

To assemble, stir pesto then spread pesto in equal amounts over toasted bun bottom, top with lettuce, a burger then spoon salsa over burger. Cover with toasted bun top and serve.

Comments 

The mushrooms can be rehydrated and refrigerated hours ahead of preparing patties. I purchase rosemary plants in small pots instead of the packaged fresh rosemary found in the produce department of most supermarkets. I prefer California’s Point Reye Blue Cheese.