Edit ModuleShow Tags

Spicy Southern Italian-Inspired Burgers with Fontina Cheese Recipe


Published:

Photography Terry Brennan, Food Styling Lara Miklasevics

How did you celebrate National Hamburger Day? Oh no—you didn’t miss it, did you?! It seems like May 28 comes up faster each year. Well, since all summer is burger holiday season, there is plenty of opportunity to celebrate in your own good time.

And if you’d like to spice things up Italian-style, this recipe, inspired by the Calabria region of Italy, which is located at the toe of the boot, can help you out. The cooking of Calabria can be quite spicy, relying on fresh and dried chilies for flavor and heat, notes meat expert Bruce Aidells, who contributed this recipe to Real Food. These burgers are moderately hot, so if you like more chile flavor and heat, increase the red pepper flakes up to 2 teaspoons. Fontina cheese comes from the north of Italy in the Val D’osta region. It melts well and has a flavor that complements the spiciness of the burger. A Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise jazzes it up even more. Buon appetito!


Spicy Southern Italian-Inspired Burgers with Fontina Cheese

Makes 4 servings

Burgers
112 lbs. ground beef, 80% to 85% lean
1 anchovy fillet, finely chopped (optional)
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
12 tsp. red pepper flakes, or more to taste

Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise
1 small clove garlic
2 tsp. capers
12 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 tsp. lemon juice
a few drops Tabasco (optional)

4 14-inch-thick slices Fontina cheese
4 ciabatta rolls or large French or Italian rolls
16 large basil leaves
1 large tomato, cut into four 14-inch slices
salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 14-inch slices sweet onion, red or yellow (optional)


For the burgers: Drop meat in a mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Using a fork, mix until well blended without overworking. Shape into 4 patties about 34 to 1 inch thick and to match roll. Using your thumb, create a shallow depression in center of each patty. Refrigerate until ready to grill.

For the Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise: To chop garlic and capers, drop through feed tube of a food processor fitted with a small bowl while motor is running. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Add remaining ingredients and pulse several times to blend. Set aside.

Grill over medium-hot coals or a medium-hot gas fire about 3 minutes per side, until patties are just firm to the touch. Top with cheese, cover grill, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until cheese melts. This will yield medium-rare to medium burgers.

To assemble, slather both sides of roll with Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise and place burger on a half. Top each with 4 basil leaves and a tomato slice. Season tomato with salt and pepper. Add onion.


Nutrition info (Per Serving): Calories 869 (525 From Fat); Fat 59g (Sat. 18g); Chol 153mg; Sodium 1507mg; Carb 38g; Fiber 2g; Protein 47g

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Toast the Royal Wedding with British-Gin Cocktails

As Britain’s Prince Harry and U.S.-actress Megan Markle tie the knot, raise a glass to the happy couple—and those close to you—with wedding-themed tipples

Bottoms-Up Cinnamon Caramel Pinwheels Recipe

With this fast version of a sticky bun, baking at home can be no muss, no fuss—and delicious

Leslie Bock's Newest Bar Wants to Save the Future

"We're attempting to show humans as messy and complicated."

Rosé All Day: The Best Tastings (Some Free)

More than 100 different rosé wines available to try—many for free

Wine Clubs: The Perfect Mother's Day Gift

Sip Better figures out your taste for wine and goes deep

Gavin Kaysen Takes Midwest Gold

A quick note on our 2018 James Beard Best Chef: Midwest

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: May

This month, Sue Z. recommends supporting local student chefs with a dinner at Saint Dinette

Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs Recipe

Get fired up for grilling season with tender, flavorful chicken kebabs by meat guru Bruce Aidells and a marinade that also works well with other proteins

My Name Is Jason and I Used to Hate Brunch

Brunch has undergone a renaissance in the Twin Cities. Food critic Jason DeRusha picks his top spots for brunch this year.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags