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Bistro Burger with Avocado Vinaigrette

I invented this recipe for my weekly girl's night. Every Wednesday I get together with my three best friends, we gossip, eat good food and drink a little wine. I wanted to make a traditional burger with a fun twist. My idea came from the traditional French Bistros’ Prie Fixe menu. The first course is a salad of arugula and avocado dressing followed by a hearty main course of proscuitto wrapped beef. The croissant is a sweet ending to the meal. The Bistro Burger combines all the elements of one meal. Viola! A happy girl’s night!


Avocado Vinaigrette:
½ cup plus 1T. Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ cup shallots, minced
1 cup Sutter Home Chardonnay
½ California avocado, cored and removed from skin
1 T. Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
¼ cup flat leaf parsley
2 T. plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 T. plus 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

2 lbs. ground chuck
1 ½ T dried herbs de provence
3 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto de parma Vegetable Oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 slices of Emmenthal cheese, Swiss cheese may be substituted
6 croissants, sliced horizontally
4 cups arugula leaves


Preheat gas grill to medium high heat. To prepare the Avocado Vinaigrette, heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium fire proof non stick skillet on the grill. Add shallots and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove pan from grill and add Chardonnay. Return to grill and simmer until reduced to about a 1/3 of a cup. Remove from heat and set aside until cooled. In a food processor add the cooled wine reduction, avocado, Dijon mustard, parsley, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper. Puree until smooth. Set the food processor on the lowest setting and slowly drizzle in the remaining ½ cup of olive oil. Cover mixture in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until use. The vinaigrette can be made 24 hours in advance. To make the patties combine beef, herbs de provence, garlic, remaining 2T. salt and remaining 1 T. pepper in a large bowl. Use your hands to gently combine the ingredients. Form into equal sized oblong patties the size of your croissants. Lay the slices of proscuitto on a large cutting board. Place each patty in the center of a slice and fold the ends in to the center the patty. Gently flip each patty seam side down onto another slice of prosciutto and fold ends in. Repeat until patties are fully wrapped and no proscuitto remains. Use wire brush to clean grill. Brush with the grill rack with olive oil. Place the patties with the last seam side down on the grill. Grill for 4 minutes. Gently flip patties over and cook for 5 minutes for medium or longer for desired doneness. During the last 2 minutes of cooking place cheese on patties and allow to melt. During the last few minutes of grill place croissants cut side down on the upper grill rack and toast to a light golden brown. To assemble burgers toss the arugula leaves with the avocado vinaigrette. Place patties on croissant and topped with an equal amount of dressed arugula. Places croissant tops on and serve.