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Puttanesca Burger

This burger was inspired by my ten year old son Henry. We love to cook together and the first meal he made on his own was Pasta Puttanesca. And, my husband, having grown up by the sea in Mazatlan, Mexico loves anchovies! Thus the idea to build a Puttanesca burger was born.


1/2 cup minced black olives
2 teaspoons capers
2 anchovy fillets (canned packed in oil) dash of cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove - minced
1 teaspoon fresh basil - finely chopped
2 pounds best quality ground chuck
4 tablespoons italian flat leaf parsley - stems removed/chopped
2 medium vine ripened tomatoes - chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons minced black olives
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6 - 1 ounce slices monterey jack cheese
2 large vine ripened tomatoes - sliced
6 soft Italian buns - split
Vegetable oil, for brushing onto the grill


OLIVE TAPENADE To make the olive tapenade place the minced black olives, capers, anchovy filets, cayenne pepper, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic and basil into a food processor or blender. Process until well combined. If made ahead, stir the tapenade just before use to incorporate the olive oil which may have separated. PATTIES To make the patties, place the beef into a large bowl. Add the parsley, tomatoes, salt, pepper, minced black olives and oregane. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide into six equal portions. Shape portion into a patty that will fit onto the bun. When the grill is ready brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties onto the grill rack and cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference. 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. During the last minute of cooking place a slice of monterey jack cheese onto each burger. Also, during the last minute of cooking the burgers, place each of the buns cut side down on the outer edge of the grill rack to toast lightly. Cover. To assemble the burgers, spread one tablespoon of the olive tapenade onto the inside of the bun top. Place the cooked patty onto the bottom portion of the bun. Top with two tomato slices. Place the bun tops onto the burgers and serve.