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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuscan Olive Burgers



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Every year, usually in May, I begin a whirlwind of kitchen activity that's triggered by the opening of the Build a Better Burger Contest. The economy and changes in advertising strategy rang the death knell for many of the big contests, but BBB is one of the few to survive with its award structure intact. Its $100K prize make it a plum for those who enjoy cooking competitions. While I've never won, I continue to try and went ahead and created two recipes for the contest this year, only to find that our revised holiday plans would have us out of the country at the time the contest would occur. I'm not really good about saving recipes for another day, so I though I'd share one of them with you today. Before I go into the multiple steps required to get this burger on the table, I want you to know that my favorite burger is simply dressed and charcoal broiled. Were it not for contests, I would never go through this rigmarole. While I may prefer my burgers naked, judges don't and that makes multi-step preparations a necessity for contests. If you analyze winning recipes, you can see the steps required to get to the competition. You'll need a sauce or spread for the rolls and layers of toppings that will make your well-seasoned burger unique. The folks at BBB maintain a huge database that you can scan for ideas if you are at all interested in entering the contest. I decided to make a Tuscan-style burger as my first entry this year. I had been working with tapenade and thought it would be a wonderful way to season my burgers. Once my theme was chosen, I rapidly moved through the toppings and spreads that I would use to accompany the patties. I decided to use a fennel-flavored mayonnaise and smoked cheese and proscuitto as toppers. To make the burgers even more singular, I made a fennel slaw to finish the package. In tonight's photo, I've used a simple olive salad in place of the fennel slaw. To be truthful, I had no fresh fennel in the house, so I took the line of least resistance and used olives which I have in abundance. This is a bold burger with strong flavors. If you like strongly flavored food, I think you'll love these. I have one caution to share with you. Be careful with the salt shaker. The tapenade and proscuitto are very salty and you won't need a lot of additional salt. Here's the recipe for those with adventuresome spirits.

Tuscan Olive Burgers...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
Ingredient:
Patties
2 pounds ground chuck
1 cup green olive tapenade (recipe can be found here)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 slices smoked Provolone or Gouda cheese
12 slices proscuitto, lightly fried and warm
6 top-quality hamburger buns, split
6 leaves curly lettuce
Fennel Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1 cup mayonnaise
Fennel Coleslaw
2 tablespoons cider vinegar, or to taste
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 lb fennel (about 1-1/2 large bulbs)

Directions:
1) Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
2) To make patties: Combine ground chuck with tapenade and black pepper, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 bun-size patties. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
3) To make fennel mayonnaise: Combine ground fennel with mayonnaise. Mix well. Set aside.
4) To make fennel slaw: Whisk together all ingredients except fennel. Trim fennel stalks flush with bulb, discarding stalks, and remove any discolored outer layers. Halve fennel through root end and discard core. Thinly slice fennel with a mandoline or other manual slicer. Toss fennel with enough dressing to coat, then season with salt and pepper.
5) To grill: Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place patties on rack, cover, and cook, turning once until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Place cheese slices on patties about 3 minutes before grilling is complete. Place buns, cut side down on outer edges of rack to toast lightly during last 2 minutes of grilling.
6) To assemble burgers. Spread top and bottom of burger buns with fennel mayonnaise. Cover bottom half of each bun with a lettuce leaf. Cover with a patty. Top each patty with two slices of warm proscuitto and about 2 tablespoons of fennel slaw. Add bun tops and serve. Yield: 6 burgers.







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Spiced TurkeyBurgers with Green Olives and Feta Cheese - Pinch My Salt
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57 comments :

My Little Space said...

Mary, this burger does look really juicy delicious. You just tempted me to make some. Hope you're having a lovely day.
Best regards,
Kristy

yummychunklet said...

I love the prosciutto slices on this burger. So Italian! Great post, Mary!

Jeannie said...

I love homemade burgers and can't wait for my 2nd son to come home from his intern to make me some:D Meantime, I'll drool on the keyboard:D

Ana Rita said...

WOW!!!I love a good juicy burguer and the olive on top is delicious!!!

Kisses,
Rita

From the Kitchen said...

I shall suggest that my husband try your burger. As for me, I am a hamburger purist. Good bun (not too thick) with a thin spread of yellow mustard on top and bottom, a perfect round of Vidalia onion and thinly sliced dill pickles. A garden salad on the side instead of fries.

Best,
Bonnie

Lenia said...

What a delicious berger!Just love it!Have a lovely day,dear Mary!

Priya said...

Wat a filling and satisfying burger..yumm!

kitchen flavours said...

Your burger looks scrumptious! Your fennel mayonnaise sounds really nice! This would make a great lunch and dinner. Thanks for sharing, Mary!

elle marie said...

Since the summer months have started I have been REALLY craving a burger, I really like the Tusacan take on this.

Ratolinha said...

Mary, que burgeu maravilhoso. Só de olhar, tem cá um aspecto delicioso.
Um bom dia.
Beijos

The Harried Cook said...

What a absolutely fabulous looking burger. I would love one of those for lunch! Thanks for sharing :)

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

Oh wait til my mom sees this! She loves green olives!

tandysinclair.com said...

oh wow! I need to challenge myself after being inspired by you! Have a lovely day today Mary :)

Rita said...

You just brought the simple burger to new heights!love you tapenade creation.
Rita

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

This sounds like a very flavorful burger Mary:@)

Nami @ Just One Cookbook said...

Tuscan style burger! YUM! Have a good day Mary!

Pam said...

Love anything with olive tapenade on it! I've always been curious about entering a contest, I don't think I have the work ethic to really work at a recipe until it's right.

Clint said...

Bravo! Creative and bold.

Fabi said...

I absolutely gotta print the recipe out and read it accurately on my way home. I love green tapenade (to be honest, I love black too!) and the rest of the ingredients put together makes this hamburger look like a piece of heaven. Have a nice day dear Mary. Big hug from Spain.

Marjlou said...

complimenti per il tuo splendido blog! ci sono tantissime ricette interessanti e belle foto!
un abbraccio dall'Italia!

Martha said...

I, too, am a burger purist but must admit that this does look good if you want to "change things up" a bit!

Cooking Creation said...

My ideal burger consists of beef, cheese, lettuce and tomato but this looks really tasty, especially with the prosciutto on it! Thanks for sharing :)

Elaine said...

I also prefer my burgers simply dressed, but this one looks like it has such great flavors. Have a great day!

Tracy Wood said...

This looks absolutely delicious! Fennel Mayo sounds great and I will certainly be trying that! I always put piles of green olives on my burgers. KILLER.... :)

Pegasuslegend said...

I am just stareing at the screen in awe... I will love this one and cant wait to try it... man I wish you lived near me! Of course your food bill would be sky high I would eat everything you make!

Natalie said...

I love a good plain burger, but sometimes fancy ones are fun! never thought to top one with tapenade--yum!

meeshiesmom said...

I love burgers. The more ideas the merrier. I especially love a good greek burger.
Karen

Saji said...

These burger look sooooo tempting!!!

Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

Very creative with the burger, love the flavors!

Laural (bhealthy) said...

Oh how delicious! I wouldn't think to do a tapenade on a burger with proscuitto but I bet its spectacular! What a great idea to pair it with fennel coleslaw too. Have a great day Mary!

-Laural

Jenn said...

I'm with you, Mary, I love simple burgers..but put that in front of me and I would eat it... Oh, yes, would I eat it!! YUM!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

What a fantastic idea, the flavors sound delicious.
mary

bellini said...

This would have been a sure fire winner Mary!!!!

PeggyR said...

Those look so good!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Unique burger! Glad that you are not giving up on the competition :)

Marmande in the Kitchen said...

Yum, fennel and olive sound great on a burger. Very creative too!

~RED~ said...

WOW! This one really caught my eye, WHATTABURGER!!!!

Chiara said...

Oh how delicious Mary! So italian! have a lovely day, a hug...

David said...

Mary, My wife would love this burger! The olive tapenade would put her over the top. Not my thing but the prosciutto with the cheese sounds great. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

That Girl said...

That is certainly some prize! The money and the burger!

flying eagle woman said...

Oh Mary - I just love stopping by here, it's a little chunk of "me" time in an otherwise crazy season. My favorite part of this burger (which I dutifully printed to post on my refrigerator as a "to do") is the olive tapenade! I can't wait to have time to put it together! The OTHER serendipitous part of my quick stop by today is the "Lemony Buttermilk Squares" found at the bottom of the page. Lemony foods are my all time favorite - they cheer me up in dark times, brighten up even the happy times.
THANK YOU!
Shawna

Greg said...

That fennel mayo sounds great.

Sunanda said...

Hi Mary, Collect your award from my blog..

Joanne said...

Sounds like a fun contest! Tapenade has such great INTENSE flavor that I know it would have made these burgers delicious!

Ginny said...

This is gorgeous, and you have it perfectly centered on the lettuce border. At first glance I thought it was some kind of ham or prosciutto sandwich, then I had to back up and saw the burger under it, oh yum!!! I love burgers, but haven't made one in maybe 20 years, believe it or not. I've just gotten kind of afraid to handle it with a new food poisoning scare on ground beef every month or so.

nanny said...

and to think I am having pla1n jane cheeseburgers tonight......I would much rather have tuscan olive burgers!!!

Swathi said...

Burger looks dleicious. You are going to win the contest sure as you make good food always.

Holly said...

This burger sounds phenomenal Mary! Wow!

Rambling Tart said...

I like my burgers very simple too, Mary, but even I would go for a black olive tapenade. :-)

Susan Lindquist said...

I guess we have been on the Tuscan Olive connection this week! These burgers look wonderful, Mary! Nothing like a good juicy burger on good bread!

Also ... I have just posted a post for the Alice Waters tribute ... I can't access your email without doing something drastic with my email default settings ... perhaps, we can exchange email or you can email me from my profile ... boy, sometimes, I feel so NOT techno savvy!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Mary, it was interesting to learn a bit about the BBB contest. Hope you are having a wonderful day. blessings ~ tanna

Young Adventures... said...

This sounds quite good Mary. Thanks for the recipe!

Angela said...

That is a very well thought out burger! Kudos to you for the excellent entry:)

Anna A. said...

Love the olives on top. What a burger!

Hazel said...

Mmmm what a delicious looking burger, I don't think I've ever had one with olives before!

Susan at www.ugogrrl.com said...

Oh My Stars - this burger looks heavenly! I LOVE olives!

Catherine said...

Dear Mary, This is my kind of "sandwish"!! Love all of the flavors. Have a beautiful and blessed Sunday. Catherine

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