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Tapenade Burgers with Roasted Red Pepper-Feta Dressing

I grew up in the coastal south, where Greek food is plentiful, and very enticing. I now live in Wyoming, where ethnic food (for the most part) is Asian or Italian. I did my best to stick with the 16 ingredient limit, and you will see that I made use of some ingredients multiple times in the recipe. I was concerned about the saltiness of the tapenade, but I cut back on the salt in the burger mixture and dressing to compensate. thank you for your consideration.


oil for the grill rack
6 ciabatta rolls, split
2.25 pounds ground chuck
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
4 tsp. minced garlic, divided
2.5 tsp Greek seasoning blend
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
1 cup Calamata olives, pitted (double-check for pits)
1/2 cup green olives, stuffed with pimentos
1/2 cup ripe olives
1/2 cup roasted red pepper strips, divided
1 cup prepared mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves, loosely packed, julienned


To make the burger mixture: mix the ground chuck, red onion, 1 tsp. garlic, Greek seasoning blend, salt, pepper and 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice together, handling lightly to prevent compacting the meat. Shape into 6 burgers to fit the rolls. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate until ready to grill. To make the Tapenade: in a food processor, combine 1 tsp. garlic, 2 tsp. of lemon juice, Calamata olives, green olives and ripe olives and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/4 cup of the roasted red pepper strips, and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped and well-combined. Place into a non-reactive container, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. To make the Dressing: in a blender, combine 1 tsp. garlic, 1 tsp. of lemon juice, mayonnaise, yogurt, 1/4 cup of the roasted red pepper strips, and 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese. Blend until smooth. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese. Pour into a non-reactive container, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. To prepare the burgers: preheat gas grill to medium-high. lightly oil the grill rack. Place the burgers on the grill and cook 5-7 minutes per side, turning once. during the last few minutes of cooking, carefully place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. remove burgers from grill and assemble: spread 1/6th of the tapenade on the cut side of the top bun half, and 1/6th of the dressing on the cut side of the bottom bun half. Sprinkle the julienned basil evenly onto the dressing side of each roll. Place the burgers onto the bottom buns and top with the top buns. serve with plenty of napkins.


we tested the burgers with the dressing on the top, but it tended to be too drippy. I can honestly say I've enjoyed every part of this process - and it's encouraged me to try new combinations.