Farmers’ Market Burger with Zucchini Pickles and Roasted Radish Butter

Pairs well with:

White Merlot

Imagine sipping a lighter Merlot. This fresh, pale-pink wine is a nice change from traditional red or white wines.

On weekends, I often love going to the local farmer’s market, picking up some farm-fresh ingredients, and creating a delicious, unique dish with them.Well, I’ve used that experience as an inspiration for this burger, where lots of great freshly-picked vegetables, fruits, and other farmer’s market products are showcased.


Zucchini Pickles:
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup champagne vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup 1/16-inch thick half-moons of zucchini
2 sprigs, tarragon

Apple, Bacon, and Arugula Salad:
6 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon good-quality honey
3/4 cup julienned Golden Delicious apples
3 tablespoons thinly sliced and chopped shallot
2/3 cup baby arugula, tightly packed and chopped
1/4 cup crumbled mild goat cheese

Roasted Radish Butter:
1 cup quartered radishes
1 medium shallot, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 stick good-quality unsalted butter

2 1/4 pounds ground grass-fed beef (20-25 percent fat)
1/4 cup finely minced shallot
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 slices Jalapeno Jack cheese
6 good-quality hamburger buns


To make Zucchini Pickles, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat add water, champagne vinegar, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil; add zucchini and tarragon. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat. Set aside for at least 1 hour. Before using, drain off any excess liquid.

To make Apple, Bacon, and Arugula Salad, heat a large fireproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, or until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain (leave rendered bacon fat in skillet for later use). Crumble bacon into small pieces. In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil and honey. Add bacon, apples, shallot, arugula, and goat cheese. Toss well to coat.

To make Roasted Radish Butter, pour off all but about a tablespoon and a half of bacon fat from the skillet. Place over medium-high heat. When hot, add radishes and shallot; cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook, with grill cover down, for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When radishes are soft and well caramelized, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Transfer radish mixture to a small bowl to cool. When mixture is cool, transfer mixture to the bowl of a food processor; add Dijon mustard and butter. Puree.

To make the patties, combine the beef, rosemary, salt, and pepper in 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 to fit the buns.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, top the burgers with equal amounts of cheese and place the bread, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of Roasted Radish Butter on the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, fan out 6-8 drained Zucchini Pickles, top with a patty and a generous amount of Apple, Bacon, and Arugula Salad. Add bun tops.

Makes 6 burgers.