I am on fire with yummy recipes lately! Oh man, we had another good one tonight. I found some very ripe heirloom tomatoes at a local farm stand that were just begging to be used for something. I scraped my original dinner plan and decided to grill some of these burgers that I found on the Aggie's Kitchen blog (well, not exactly...but I will get to that in a second.) I ended up making a bruschetta topping of sorts with my mother-load of delicious tomatoes. We ended up dressing both our burgers and salads with the fantastic, candy-like tomato mixture. Seriously, fruits and veggies are so yummy during the hot months of summertime. The flavors, colors, and textures of fresh produce cannot be beat. I love summer food! Anyway, I didn't have exactly everything on hand for Aggie's burgers, so I improvised a little. Even though my burgers were a bit different, they still turned out delicious. I love when a fantastic ingredient strikes inspiration for a entire meal.
Adapted From: Aggie's Kitchen, Bruschetta Patty Melts
1 lb ground beef
1/2 green pepper, minced
1/4 red onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 fresh crimini mushrooms, minced
small handful of basil, chopped finely
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
couple of splashes of wine (I used a Pinot Grigio)
salt and pepper
grilled ciabatta or French bread slices
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 heirloom tomatoes (any variety), diced small (use regular tomatoes if you cannot find heirlooms)
1/4 of a large red onion, sliced very thin
1 bunch of basil, cut into chiffonade
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well with a large spoon. Let the mixture rest at room temp. for at least 1 hour before serving, so flavors can marry.
Saute pepper, mushrooms, onions and garlic and let cool. Combine basil, egg, Parmesan cheese and wine in a bowl. Add cooked vegetables and ground beef to bowl and gently combine. Form into patties. Grill burgers about 4 minutes per side, on medium heat grill (for medium rare). Remove from heat and let the burgers rest for 5 minutes. Top each one with a spoonful of bruschetta. Serve open-faced style on grilled ciabatta or French bread, drizzled with olive oil.
I think normally bruschetta tomatoes are cooked/peeled first; I decided to skip this step. My heirloom tomatoes were so yummy as-is, I didn't want to mess with the freshness of their flavor. If you are using Roma tomatoes or a more common non-organic variety, I would probably recommend making the bruschetta as Aggie indicates in the original recipe link (see above). Also, I grilled my burgers versus broiling them in the oven as the initial dish is made. It was 112 degrees in Phoenix today, and I just didn't want to heat up my house by turning on the oven. Grilling the burgers was a much better option. (Although, standing outside and grilling burgers in 112 degree heat is no picnic either.)
Very, very, good. ;) By the way, the bruschetta topping was awesome on our salad greens, too. Thanks Aggie, you rock!!!