“Grill-Off” Burger Winner – La Taverna Tapas Burger
Here’s my theory…
There are burgers, and then there are burgers. I’m talking about the kind of burger where after the first bite you can’t find words to describe the flavor and satisfaction, so you just make sounds.
Yep, this is that kind of burger!
This recipe was created by Tina Verelli, the winner in the “Burger” category of the “Grill Off” Contest! Tina says, “Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ingredients, cuisines and flavor combinations!“ That is exactly what makes this creative recipe so exciting. She created an unexpected combination of Mediterranean flavors and Tapas inspired ingredients into one mind-boggling burger. Tina also advises, “When you eat out, try something you’ve never had before. It can spark an interest in a new food or ingredient.“ I can certainly see some restaurant inspirations in this recipe!
Let’s break this down and take a look at the components in this burger. Start off with the ciabatta roll, a perfectly chewy and hearty vessel for this dynamic burger. The top bun is brushed with olive oil and smoked paprika. The bottom is spread with a bit of creamed honey. I have to admit this ingredient threw me for a loop at first. Honey on a burger? Oh, just wait…it is the perfect hint of sweetness to balance the salt. The burger itself is packed with garlic, olives, and red peppers and topped with Manchego cheese. Then, thin slices of prosciutto adorn the burger. Because sometimes meat just needs to be topped with meat! Finally an arugula salad with olive oil and balsamic glaze finishes off the dish. Do I have your attention yet?!
- 2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
- 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/3 cup green olives stuffed with pimientos, chopped
- 1/3 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
- 1 teaspoon pepper sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 6 ciabatta rolls, sliced in half
- 1 cup shredded Manchego cheese
- 12 very thin slices prosciutto
- 3 cups baby arugula
- 1/4 cup creamed honey
- 1/4 cup balsamic glaze
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Prepare burger patties by combining the beef, garlic, olives, red peppers, pepper sauce, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Gently mix until combined. Divide into 6 portions and form 3/4 inch thick patties using the bun shape as a guide. Place burger patties on hot grill. In small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika. Lightly brush cut sides of rolls with olive oil mixture. When burgers are ready to turn, approximately 5 minutes, turn them and add rolls, cut side down to the grill. When burgers are turned and have cooked for about 2 minutes, put 2 tablespoons of shredded Manchego cheese on each patty. Remove rolls when toasted and burgers when they reach an internal temperature of 158-160 degrees F. Remove burgers to a platter, top each with 2 slices of ham, and cover with foil. In a large bowl, toss arugula with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Lay out toasted bun pairs. On each bottom bun, spread 2 teaspoons of creamed honey. Place burger patties on top of honey and mound each with 1/2 cup arugula salad. Drizzle 2 teaspoons balsamic glaze on cut side of each top bun and place on burger. Secure burgers with skewers if desired and serve.
Number of Servings: 6
Congratulations Tina! Please, tell us you came up with your winning recipe!
“This is a recipe that I have been tweaking for a while. It’s loaded with a lot of my favorite Mediterranean flavors! I’ve never been to Spain to have tapas, but this burger and a nice glass of wine makes me feel a little closer. It’s a really delicious burger – my mouth is watering just thinking about it!! I love how the savory, salty & sweet ingredients work together!”
I certainly agree with you there! What inspired you to enter the Better Recipes weekly contest?
“I’ve been following and entering the past few contests you have had. The winning recipes have been so creative! I like to read what all the winners have to say about their recipes. It inspired me to keep entering.”
Why do you think your recipe stood out to the judges?
“Maybe it was an idea they hadn’t seen before.”
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering our recipe contests?
“You have to have perseverance and just keep creating & entering! I’ve won far fewer than I’ve entered – makes a win really sweet!! I always read over other people’s winning recipes and try to learn from them. Lots of times my recipes can get too complex and I need to simplify.”
Do you have any fun plans for the prize money?
“I’ve been wanting to buy a nice instant-read thermometer, but haven’t wanted to fork over the $$, maybe I’ll use the prize money for some new kitchen toys!!”
Fantastic! As you bask in the glow of your win, I encourage everyone to check out the grilling theme this week – Fish! Submit your favorite recipes by midnight on Saturday for a chance to win. Best of luck!
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