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Tuscany Waldorf Burgers

From 4-H baking projects as a 10-year-old, to the 2000 Pillsbury Bake-Off in San Francisco, my culinary contest career has given birth to hundreds of recipes. Although biscuits is my signature specialty, my salads run a close second. My Tuscany Waldorf Burgers recipe is my entree version of a favorite salad, with an Italian twist.


Grape Dressing:
½ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
½ cup chopped seedless grapes
½ teaspoon celery seed
1½ pounds ground chicken
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
¼ cup pecans, chopped
¼ cup finely sliced celery
vegetable oil for grill rack
6 slices provolone cheese
2 tablespoons butter 1
tablespoon brown sugar
6 thick tart apple rounds, peeled, sliced, & cored
12 (1-inch thick) slices Ciabatta bread
1 small head radicchio, shredded


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the grape dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl, mixing well. To make the patties, combine chicken, salt, Italian seasoning, pecans, and celery in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly, but do not compact meat. Form mixture into six equal patties. When grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook until done, about 4-6 minutes per side, turning patties once during grilling. Top each patty with a slice of cheese when done. Combine butter and brown sugar in small fire-proof skillet or saucepan on grill until butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Brush apple rounds with butter mixture and grill for about 3 minutes per side or until apples start to brown. During last minutes of grilling, place Ciabatta slices on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly, turning bread once. To assemble burgers, spread six slices of bread (on one side) with grape dressing. Place a patty on each of the remaining six bread slices. Place a grilled apple round over patty and top with shredded radicchio. Top with the Ciabatta slices that have been spread with grape dressing and serve. Makes 6 burgers.


Laced with zesty Italian herbs and topped with a swathe of smoky cheese, Waldorf Burgers are light and full of fruity goodness. The chewy texture of the Ciabatta bread tops off this unique sandwich.