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Bruschetta Burger

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite appetizers, which I often turn into a meal, bruschetta. I combined the flavors of the bruschetta into the burger to provide hints of the appetizer.


Garlic Butter
4 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground chuck
6 teaspoons fresh basil, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 teaspoons capers
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
12 slices of baguette bread, medium diameter, medium thickness sliced
6 slices fresh mozzarella, medium sliced
6 slices tomato, use 2 large firm tomatoes, medium sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, equally portioned
6 pinches of kosher salt, equally portioned
6 pinches of fresh ground pepper, equally portioned


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the garlic butter, melt the butter in a fire-proof sauce pan on the grill rack. Add the garlic and move the pan to the outer edge of the grill to keep warm and infuse the butter with the garlic. To make the patties, add the ground chuck, basil, salt, pepper, vinegar and capers in a large mixing bowl. Mix well until combined, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Once the burgers have started cooking, place the bread on a hot part of the rack to toast until toasted and firm on both sides, 2 - 3 minutes per side. Once toasted, brush the garlic butter on the top side of each piece of bread and move the bread to the outer edge of the grill to keep warm. To assemble the burgers, place a burger on one slice of bread (buttered side up), add mozzarella slice, and tomato slice. Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over the tomato, sprinkle one pinch of salt and one pinch of pepper over the tomato. Top with another slice of bread (butter slice down) and serve. Makes 6 burgers