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Sicilian Burgers with Anchovy-Lemon Butter, Pesto Vinaigrette and Chevre

I love Italian food, from Philly cheese steaks and grinders to a simple pasta dish dressed with olive oil and garlic. The following is my version of what I think a burger might be if left to a Sicilian cook. It has my flavor favorites such as lemon, anchovies to perk up the palaate, and mellow pesto vinaigrette, tomato, of course, and a smooth and creamy goat cheese. I like big sturdy bakery Kaiser rolls for this.


Oil for the grill grates
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided,, room temperature
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2-1/4 pounds ground beef chuck, rib meat and sirloin (85% lean)
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup prepared pesto
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
6 large firm-textured bakery Kaiser rolls, split
12 thin slices ripe tomato
12 ounces mild goat cheese, sliced


Oil the rack of the grill well and preheat to medium-high for 10 minutes. In a bowl, mash 4 tablespoons of butter with anchovy paste, shallot, lemon juice and lemon zest; mix well. Set aside. In another bowl, combine pesto, olive oil and white wine vinegar, mix well and set aside. Add salt and pepper to ground beef, mix well and divide into 6 portions. Form each into a burger at least 3/4-inch thick. Make an indent in the center of each and place on grill. Cook 4 minutes on the first side, turn and grill another 3 to 4 minutes or until medium-rare or desired doneness. Spread the cut sides of the rolls with the remaining butter, place them on grill, cut sides down, and lightly toast them. Spread the anchovy-lemon butter lightly on the bottom halves, add a burger, 2 slices of tomato, a spoonful of pesto vinaigrette and 2 thin slices of goat cheese. Place top of roll in place, press down lightly, cut in half and serve.


Makes 6 big juicy burgers.