Bound for Brindisi Burgers
1/3 cup good quality maple syrup
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Toasted Pignoli Mayo:
1/2 cup raw pine nuts
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 thin slices prosciutto
18 thin asparagus spears, cut to about 5 inches in length
2 lbs. boneless, skinless salmon filets, finely chopped
1/2 cup Asiago cheese, freshly grated
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1+1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for brushing on the grill rack
6 artisanal Italian hamburger rolls, split
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the Maple-Basil Glaze: Place the glaze ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the basil is finely chopped. Reserve 3 Tablespoons of this mixture to drizzle over the finished burgers before serving, and set the remainder aside until ready to glaze the patties as they cook.
To make the Toasted Pignoli Mayo: Place a medium, fire-proof skillet on the grill rack and preheat to medium-high. Place the pine nuts into the preheated skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly, until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove the pine nuts to a cutting board, allow them to cool slightly, then finely chop them. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped pine nuts with the mayonnaise and garlic. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
To make the Prosciutto-Asparagus Bundles: Fold each slice of prosciutto in half length-wise. Wrap each folded prosciutto slice around three asparagus spears, making sure the asparagus spears lay flat (side-by-side) for even grilling.
To make the patties: Place the finely chopped salmon, grated Asiago, panko, egg, salt, and pepper into a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties that will fit the hamburger rolls (the patties won’t shrink much when cooking).
Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the Prosciutto-Asparagus Bundles on the grill rack and cook for 3-5 minutes, turning a few times, until the prosciutto is crisped slightly and the asparagus is just tender. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Place the patties on the grill rack, cover, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn the patties and cook about 4 minutes more. During the last few minutes of cooking, brush both sides of the patties generously with the Maple-Basil glaze. Also place the rolls, cut-side down, along the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly.
To assemble the burgers: Spread Toasted Pignoli Mayo onto the cut side of each toasted roll bottom. Top each roll bottom with a glazed patty and a Prosciutto-Asparagus Bundles, respectively. Drizzle about 1/2 Tablespoon of the reserved Maple-Basil Glaze over each bundle-topped patty. Add the roll tops and serve.
Makes 6 burgers.