Monday, November 16, 2009

Every Day is Burger Grilling Day!

In 2002 I entered a burger contest online. I'd never cooked the burger, it was a whim...I was online, something caught my eye and a few clicks later I was typing away. A few weeks later there was a lady calling to inform me that I was a finalist in the Build a Better Burger Contest. I was praying at that moment that I had saved a copy of my entry...and later that evening, I was praying that the ingredients would actually make a patty that could be grilled.
Well, it all worked out, and after one of the best weekends I've ever spent in my life, my sister and I came home with the 'bacon'--enough money to take us to Italy for some cooking lessons and what led to our wonderful friends in Tuscany--Tuttie-A-Tavola-- ..the Tuscan Mamas.
I cooked that hamburger many, many, many times in the past few years...everybody wanted to taste it. I cooked it until I got tired of cooking it--and of all the times I cooked it, I don't remember ever actually sitting down and enjoying one myself--until a few nights ago.
I happened across some nice looking veal they were trying to give away at the grocery store, and thought, 'What the heck.'
Long story short, it's a darn good burger...maybe even better than I remembered...or maybe it was the beautiful, fall evening...the smell of burgers grilling in the air... It was so flavorful...
Try it for be the judge!

Vitello Focaccia (12 servings)

¾ cup olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

2 T Dijon mustard

3 T mixed Italian herbs, dried

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

24 medium tomato slices

24 medium fresh basil leaves

12 slices fresh mozzarella

1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 T olive oil

¼ lb. hard salami, cubed

¼ lb. Proscuitto, sliced

1-cup Parmesan cheese, grated

¼ cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

3 lbs. ground veal

2 eggs, beaten

¼ cup dry white wine

Italian flat bread cut into 12 bun sized pieces, and sliced open

½ stick butter, melted

Whisk together the oil, vinegar and mustard. Add herbs and pepper and mix. Pour over tomatoes, basil and mozzarella and set aside.

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil in small iron skillet on heated grill. Set aside.

Process salami, proscuitto, Parmesan and parsley in food processor just until coarsely ground.

Add onion mixture and salami mixture to ground veal. Add eggs and wine and mix gently with hands to combine. Form into 12 patties, handling as little as possible. (Refrigerate patties until ready to grill.)

Cook on medium grill for 3 minutes on each side, turning only once. Remove from heat and let rest while grilling bread. Butter cut sides of bread and grill, buttered side down until toasted.

Place a veal patty on bottom piece of flat bread. Remove tomatoes, basil and mozzarella from dressing. Place 2 slices tomato, 2 basil leaves and a slice of mozzarella on each patty. Cover with top piece of flat bread…buon appettito!


  1. Oh my goodness, these look heavenly! What a great experience.


  2. Thanks, Miss Mouse! It was loads of fun--and the burgers are waaay good, if I do say so myself.