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Goddess Earth Burger, with Apricot-Jalapeno Glaze, Pistachio-Goat Cheese Spread, and Arugula Bacon Salad

I created this burger because it reminds me of a happy time in my life. I went on a journey to the Middle East while teaching kindergarten in post war Kuwait and Dubai for 5 years. While there I found a small souk (shop) with an abundance of pistachios and apricots. After moving to Dubai, pork was available . I tried to use organic vegetables and nitrate free bacon. Enjoy


Pistachio-Goat Cheese Spread
4 ounces of garlic-flavored goat cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup salted, shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
Apricot-Jalapeno Glaze
1 cup chopped dried apricots
6 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2/3 cup Sutter Zinfandel
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 pounds ground chuck
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
1/4 cup Apricot-Jalapeno glaze
1/3 cup salted pistachios, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
Arugula Bacon Salad
12 pieces of precooked bacon
3 tablespoons of pistachio oil
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon of orange zest
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
4 cups chopped Arugula
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/3 cup shelled salted pistachios
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
6 Kaiser rolls, split


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high.
To make the spread, combine the cheese, mayonnaise, pistachios in a small bowl and set aside.
To make the patties, place the chuck, garlic, onion, glaze, pistachios, salt in a large bowl.
Combine well, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Form in 6 patties and refrigerate until ready to grill.
To make glaze, add the apricots, jalapenos, Zinfandel, honey, juice, zest, to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Pour glaze into a fire-proof skillet and cook for 8-10 minutes. Set aside in a medium glass bowl.
To make salad, place in a small bowl oil, juice, zest, salt, honey and vinegar. Mix well. Chill until ready to serve. Place strips of bacon on grill until crisp.
Place red pepper, apricots, arugula, pistachios, bacon in a large bowl. Pour over the salad. Toss to combine.
Brush grill rack with oil.

Serves 6


Pistachio oil was purchased from Williams-Sonoma for this recipe.