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Purple Haze Burgers

Seattleites are proud to claim Jimi Hendrix as one of their finest exports, long before a string of latte stands put us on the map. These burgers, served up on poppy seed rolls streaked a beautiful, bright purple, are named thus in Hendrix’s honor. They’ll rock your world.


Blueberry Salsa:
1 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 red or purple bell pepper, diced
1/2 c. fresh pineapple, diced
1/2 c. shallot, or red onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. Basil, preferably Thai, minced
1 Tbsp. Zinfandel
Zest of one lime
Juice of one half lime
1/4 tsp. dried culinary lavender buds, or 1/2 tsp. fresh organic lavender flower buds, chopped; (opt.)
1/2 tsp. Coarse Sea Salt, preferably Hawaiian black
Purple Jalapeño Glaze:
1/2 c. red jalapeño jelly
2 Tbsp. Zinfandel
1 Tbsp. Ponzu sauce
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Blushed Mayo:
1/2 c. prepared canola mayonnaise, reg. or lite
1 Tbsp. mint, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. Zinfandel
Zest of one half orange
1 tsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
2 lbs. ground chuck
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
9 slices pre-cooked bacon; or cured to be cooked on the grill
1/2 lb. Drunken Goat cheese, sliced, or other mild cheese, like Jack
vegetable oil for grilling grates
6 Poppy seeded Kaiser rolls, or
6 plain Kaiser rolls and
white of 1 egg, whipped slightly with a fork , plus:
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
red leaf lettuce
purple tinged heirloom tomato, sliced thin, (organic beefsteak, if heirloom is unavailable)


Salsa: Coarsely chop the blueberries, in a food processor or by hand. Transfer to a bowl and add bell pepper, pineapple, shallot, basil, Zinfandel, lime zest and juice, and lavender. Stir together. Sprinkle with sea salt. Chill until needed.
Glaze: Heat jelly in a pan, stirring in Zinfandel, ponzu, and dijon mustard, until jelly liquefies. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced slightly. Set aside to cool, for use on patties and bacon.
Blushed Mayo: To the mayonnaise add chopped mint, Zinfandel, and orange zest and juice. Stir together. Chill until needed.
Burgers: Shape six patties, incorporating salt and pepper. Make a slight indentation in the center of each. This will help keep the burgers from shrinking. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal grill with cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high. Oil grates. (If using uncooked bacon, begin grilling ten to twelve minutes prior to adding patties.)
Grill patties for 4 minutes, turn and brush purple jalapeno glaze over tops. Cook an additional 3 minutes. Add pre-cooked bacon to grill, (if using), and brush remaining glaze over bacon slices. Top patties with slices of Drunken Goat Cheese. Close lid to melt cheese, about 1 1/2 minute. Remove bacon from grill and place on absorbent paper, if desired. Remove patties and set aside. Cut each piece of bacon in half. Scrap grates of residue if needed, and re-oil.
Rolls: If using regular Kaiser rolls, brush tops with egg white, and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Place split Kaiser rolls cut side down, and grill until toasted.
To assemble: Use a slotted spoon to a layer some salsa on the bottom roll. Top with burger and 1 1/2 slices of the now "candied" bacon. Next add, some red leaf lettuce, a slice of tomato, and another tablespoon of salsa. Spread blushed mayonnaise on toasted side of roll top, and place over all.
Serves 6.


This burger and its sides are quick to assemble for the busy home cook. Making the salsa ahead of time does allow the flavors to blend. The lavender gives it an indescribable flavor, especially when paired with Thai basil, but the salsa's still delicious without. Other varieties of mint, like orange or ginger, are wonderful if you have them. The herbal notes in the Drunken Goat cheese are sublime with the herbs in this recipe, and the cheese is definitely worth a try if you haven't had it. Brillo Pecorino DiVino, a wine bathed sheep's cheese, is a delicious substitution.
Bon Appétit!