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Italian Burgers with Roasted Pepper and Tomato Relish, Ricotta Cream, and Pan-Fried Eggplant


See also: Le Cordon Bleu Grilling Tips Article; Short Rib & Mushroom Burger; Lamb Kabobs; Grilled Duckling Breast

Recipe Serves 4.


Italian Burgers
~ 1 pound ground beef free range 80/20 mix
~ 2 eggs, beaten
~ 1 tablespoon olive oil
~ 1 garlic cloves, minced
~ 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
~ 1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
~ 1 tablespoon Italian spice
~ 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
~ 1 tablespoon minced garlic
~ 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
~ 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
~ Sea salt, to taste
~ 4 black olive ciabatta rolls, sliced

Italian Burgers

Roasted Pepper and Tomato Relish
~ 1/2 cup brown sugar
~ 1/2 cup vinegar
~ 1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
~ 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
~ 2 roasted red peppers, finely diced
~ 6 plum tomatoes, skinned, seeded, cored and diced
~ 2 shallots, minced

Pan- Fried Eggplant
~ 1 medium eggplant
~ 1 egg, beaten
~ 4 tablespoons buttermilk
~ 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
~ 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
~ 1 cup all-purpose flour
~ Salt and pepper, to taste
~ 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
~ Salad oil, as needed

Ricotta Cream
~ 1/2 cup fresh ricotta
~ 1/3 cup mayonnaise
~ 1 teaspoon oregano, minced
~ 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
~ 1/3 cup finely chopped basil



1. For Italian Burgers, mix all ingredients well and form into 4 patties; let rest in cooler.

2. For the Roasted Pepper and Tomato Relish, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar; add the mustard seed and turmeric. Bring to a boil; add peppers, tomatoes and shallots. Continue cooking for 8 minutes.
3.  For the Pan-Fried Eggplant, pare the eggplants; cut into 4 1/2-inch-thick slices. Salt eggplant lightly on both sides; let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse the slices and dry well. Combine eggs, buttermilk, oil and basil. Dip eggplant slices in flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper, then dip in egg mixture. Dredge in crumbs. Cover slices well; let sit for 2 minutes. Fry slowly in a skillet with hot oil until browned on one side and rather transparent. Turn and brown on other side.
4. For the Ricotta Cream, combine all items and mix.
5.  Grill burgers until desired doneness. Place an eggplant slice then equal amounts of the relish on a black olive roll base. Place on burger and top with the Ricotta Cream and roll top.

Recipe courtesty of Le Cordon Bleu & Master Chef Edward G. Leonard

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