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Pretzel Persillade Burgers with Wine Poached Pear Confit & Blue Mayo

A simple and fun twist on some fancy French techniques. My goodness, I had no idea how good and versatile those pretzels are.


½ cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided
3 tablespoons Colavita Olive Oil, divided
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 large bosc or red bartlett pear, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Sutter Home Red Zinfandel Wine
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Garlic Bread Nibblers
1 tablespoon fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
2 pounds 80% lean ground beef
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
6 wholewheat sandwich rolls oil for greasing the grill
6 crisp romaine or bibb lettuce leaves


Heat gas grill to medium. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise and ½ cup blue cheese; blend well, cover and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet. Add onions and pears; cook until just golden and caramelized. Add wine; simmer until wine is just evaporated. Season confit with salt and pepper; set aside. In food processor, process pretzels to fine crumbs. Reserve 2 tablespoons of pretzel crumbs. Add remaining 1/4 cup of blue cheese and parsley to remaining pretzel crumbs; process to blend. With processor running, add just enough of the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until crumb mixture is evenly moist; transfer pretzel persillade to a bowl and set aside. In large bowl, combine beef, reserved 2 tablespoons of pretzel crumbs, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Gently, but thoroughly mix the meat and seasonings, but avoid overworking the mixture. Shape into 6 patties fitting the size of the rolls. Place patties on lightly greased grill rack. Grill burgers, covered, for 4 minutes, turn. Spoon a generous amount of pretzel persillade over top of each burger; pat gently with the back of the spoon to form an even crust over top of the burger. Grill burgers, covered, another 4 to 5 minutes or to desired doneness. During last few minutes of cooking time place cut side of rolls down on outer edges of grill rack to toast. To assemble burgers, spread both sides of toasted rolls with blue mayo. Layer bottom half of rolls with lettuce, a burger, and some wine poached pear confit. Cover with roll tops. Makes 6 burgers.