RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Tuna Caponata Burgers

The inspiration for these burgers comes from one of my favorite flavor combinations: creamy grilled eggplant, tangy balsamic vinegar, and salty capers. When combined with the rich taste and texture of fresh tuna, the taste can't be beat!


1 small globe eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices Vegetable oil for brushing vegetables and grill rack
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 medium tomato, halved
3 tablespoons oil cured black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon Colavita balsamic vinegar
Mediterranean Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon capers, drained and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 pounds yellowfin tuna, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons capers, drained and coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon Colavita balsamic vinegar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for brushing grill rack
6 sesame seeded hamburger buns


Prepare a medium hot grill in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the caponata, brush eggplant and cut sides of tomato with oil; season with 1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Brush heated grill with oil. Place vegetables on rack and grill until eggplant is golden brown on both sides and tomato is softened, 5-8 minutes. Cool briefly; chop vegetables coarsely and place in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper and toss well to mix. Cover and set aside. To make the mayonnaise, place all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. To make the patties, combine tuna, capers, shallots, garlic, balsamic vinegar, egg, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Mix well, handling mixture gently to avoid compacting the tuna. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns. Brush heated grill with oil. Place patties on grill rack, cover and cook, turning once, until patties are just opaque throughout and nicely browned, 3-4 minutes per side. During the last few minutes of cooking, brush buns with oil and arrange on the outer edges of grill to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, lightly spread bun tops and bottoms with the Mediterranean mayonnaise. Place one patty on each bun bottom and top with 1/4 cup caponata. Add bun tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.