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Umami Pomodoro Burgers with Avocado Basioli

Savory Umami flavors abound in these burgers. The fifth taste dimension ingredients such as the juicy beef, caramelized tomatoes (Pomodoro), variety of cheeses, onion and pancetta work together to create an ultimate sensory explosion. Taste buds, get ready!!! Enjoy...


Avocado Basioli

1 ripe California avocado, peeled, halved and chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 teaspoons Tobasco pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces pancetta, finely diced

Umami Pomodoro

6 large ripe, firm Roma tomatoes, halved
3 ounces crumbled Ricotta Salata cheese*
3 ounces shredded Romano cheese
3 tablespoons pignoli (pine) nuts
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Colavita Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and minced
2 teaspoons steak seasoning
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Vegetable oli for brushing on the grill rack
6 Ciabatta or Kaiser rolls, split
5 ounces baby arugula leaves


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

To make Avocado Basioli, place avocado, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, basil, pepper sauce and salt in food processor or blender. Process until smooth and creamy;transfer to a bowl. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate.

When the grill is ready, place the pancetta in a medium fire-proof skillet and cook on the grill 5-6 minutes or until just starting to brown. Remove pancetta to paper towel-lined plate. Cover with plastic wrap;set aside.

To make Umami Pomodoro, scoop out the insides of the tomato halves. In a medium bowl, stir together Ricotta Salata, Romano cheese, pignoli nuts, parsely, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vineger, salt and pepper. Stuff the mixture evenly into the hollow of each tomato half and pack firmly. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place tomatoes on the rack and close lid. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes, until tomatoes are slightly charred and softened. Remove from grill to plate. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To make patties, in a large bowl combine the cooked pancetta, ground chuck, red onion, capers, steak seasoning and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Form into 6 patties. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5-7 minutes on each side for medium. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Remove the patties and rolls.

To assemble the burgers, spread the Avocado Basioli on the cut sides of the rolls. Divide the arugula evenly over each roll bottom. Place a patty over the arugula. Top each with two tomato halves, cheese side up.. Add the roll tops, press down slightly, and serve.

Makes 6 burgers.

*Ricotta Salata is a cow's milk cheese that is made from ricotta, dried with a salty bite. It may be found in most suremarkets and Italian salumerias.