You can take a moment and judge my insanely long title, per usual. Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’m sure you think I’ve gone off the deep end. When I told my husband what I was making for dinner last week, he raised an eyebrow, and gave me a look that can only be described as “WTF”, then he said “You’re really on a burger kick, aren’t you?”
Guilty. And I guess after making countless burgers, you have to do something a little weird and put fruit inside. Or at least I do.
I’m pretty much obsessed with anything sweet and savory. I used to think it was weird, but ever since people starting salting things (I soooo judged that salted caramel hot chocolate at the bux for a good 2 weeks), I haven’t tired of the depth of flavor adding an unexpected taste or ingredient can bring to your dish.
Did anyone watch that season of Top Chef with the watermelon gorgonzola salad? I don’t remember who made it, but I remember that he tried something unique, something most people would never do. I remember Tom Colicchio hated it, and said it was totally wrong, but Chef Tom ain’t got nothin’ on these burgers.
I’ve always loved the fig/gorgonzola combo, so I stuffed them inside my burger, then I wrapped that sucker in center cut bacon to add smokiness and some extra bold, salty flavor–wrapped around where it can stand out and be an attention whore, not tucked inside with the lesser-known ingredients. Then to bring it all together, and add an extra hint of sweetness, I reduced some balsamic vinegar on the stove until it was thick, syrupy and sweet. Careful, the fumes are INTENSE (think vinegar straight up your nose), but the end result is totally worth it. A unique burger that you won’t find at you local burger joint, with rich depth of flavor, yet still deceptively simple and easy to put together. There is nothing like it.
- 1 lb extra lean ground beef (96% preferred)
- 1/3 cup chopped dried mission figs
- 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- pinch each salt and pepper
- 4 slices center cut bacon
- 1/2 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
- 4 whole grain buns (whole wheat, brown rice, etc)
- 2 roma tomatoes, sliced
- lettuce of choice
- Begin with the balsamic glaze by pouring balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium-medium high to simmer. Stir occasionally until sauce has reached desired thickness. This took me about 30 minutes for a very syrupy glaze. 20-30 minutes should be all you need. Once desired consistency is reached, remove from heat immediately.
- In a large bowl, gently combine ground beef, figs, gorgonzola cheese, salt and pepper until ingredients are just incorporated. Form into 4 equal-sized patties. Press your thumb down into the center of each patty to create a small indent. Wrap each burger with a slice of bacon.
- Grill over medium heat beginning with the edge of the bacon side facing down until burgers have reached desired doneness, about 5 minutes each side. Transfer to buns and add lettuce and tomato. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.
Looking for some other burger recipes for summer? Like I said, I’ve been on a bit of a kick…
Or if you don’t eat meat, I have a few veggie options too!