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Sweet and Smokey Glazed Burgers with Braised Kale

My burger inspired me to write several limericks. They’re all in fun. I hope you enjoy them as an introduction to my recipe!

1. There once was a burger with kale;
When tasted, made folks shout “All hail!”;
It’s smoky and sweet;
On a bun of whole wheat;
It’s a 10 out of 10 on the scale!

2.There was a gal from the Midwest;
Who dreamed of the Sutter contest;
With grills all aglow;
And sipping Merlot;
While the burgers are put to the test.

3.The contest is called BBB;
And it’s shown on renowned Food TV;
Sutter Home is the host;
Raise your glass in a toast;
Burger lovers call this the Grand Prix!


1 cup juice (such as Bossa Nova Acai or Frutzzo Pomegranate Acai)
1 cup plum sauce (Asian aisle of store)
2 teaspoon plus 2 Tablespoons minced chipotle chilies with adobo sauce, divided
4 slices of bacon, diced
1 pound kale, washed, tough stems and ribs discarded
3 green onions, white and green parts divided and minced
3 cloves garlic minced and divided
1 cup canned vegetable broth
2 pounds ground sirloin
1/2 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons sea salt
6 slices Monterey Jack cheese
6 whole wheat bakery hamburger buns, split
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
6 slices ripe tomato


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make glaze, place acai juice in small, heavy fire-proof saucepan on grill rack. Heat to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until reduced by half. Stir in plum sauce and 2 teaspoons chipotle. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place bacon in large, heavy fire-proof skillet on grill rack. Coarsely chop kale while bacon cooks until crispy. Transfer bacon to paper towels with a slotted spoon. Pour off and discard all but 2 Tablespoons bacon drippings; add white part of onions and 1 clove garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add kale, using tongs to turn & coat leaves; sauté until just wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Add vegetable broth; cover and cook for 8-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Drain and keep warm.

To make patties, combine ground sirloin, 1/4 cup olive oil, green part of onions, 2 cloves garlic, 2 Tablespoons chipotle, and salt in a large bowl. Mix gently, handling the mixture as little as possible. Form into 6 patties of equal size.

When grill is ready, brush the rack with oil. Place patties on grill rack, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes per side, basting often with glaze to desired doneness. During last 2 minutes of grilling, top patties with cheese slices. Brush cut side of buns with remaining oil and place around edges of rack to lightly toast.

To assemble burgers, spread toasted side of buns with desired amount of glaze. Stir lemon juice and bacon pieces into kale and divide evenly between bottom buns. Add cheese topped patties, tomato slices, and top of buns.

Makes 6 burgers


While acai juice is not usually heated because of the loss of some antioxidant properties, I think the trade-off in flavor and color is worth it. The hint of sweetness from the plum sauce, the slight bitterness of the kale, and the salty smoky flavor of the bacon really compliment the chipotle peppers. These burgers are rounded out with Monterey Jack cheese and a slice of juicy tomato.