Italian Scallion Porcini Pancetta Panini

Pairs well with:

Pinot Grigio

You won’t need a bouquet of flowers when you share our Pinot Grigio. This crisp wine with floral aromas is a wonderful way to make an entrance.


40 scallions or green onions, root ends trimmed and cleaned
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (1/4\\
1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 1/2 plus 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
8 ounces diced fresh mozzarella
3.4 cup finely chopped (tightly packed) fresh basil
1/4 cup balsamic \\
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. thnly sliced pancetta
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water
4 ounces pancetta
1/3 cup prepared whole roasted garlic cloves
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 lb. ground Prime boneless ribeye steak
1 1/4 lb. ground chuck (80% lean, 20 % fat)
1 1/2 cup (tightly packed) fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup prepared mayonnaise (Hellmann or Best)
1 cup prepared whole roasted garlic cloves
1 can anchovy fillets (NOT drained)
1/2 cup whole grain dijon mustard
6 large challa or brioche hamburger buns (5 1/2\\



STEP #1. For the Grilled Scallions: Preheat the grill to high heat. Make sure the grill is clean. Make sure the cleaned and trimmed scallions are completely dry. Place them onto the hottest part of the grill in one layer and grill, turning once, just until charred and wilted – no more than 2 minutes. Remove the grilled scallions to a tray and spread them out so they will cool quickly. When the scallions are completely cool, finely chop them (NOT in the food processor – do this by hand) and place them into a small mixing bowl. Add the ½ tsp fine sea salt and 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper and stir to combine. Set the scallions aside until you are ready to form the burgers.
STEP #2. For the Caprese Salsa: Place the seeded and diced tomatoes and chopped sweet onion into a large sieve set on top of a mixing bowl and add the 1 ½ tsp fine sea salt. Use a spoon to evenly but gently mix the ingredients in the sieve. Cover the tomato mixture with plastic wrap; place a small plate (it should completely cover the tomato mixture) on top of the plastic. Place something heavy (a large can of stock, a heavy small pan – anything to weigh it down) onto the plate and let the tomatoes and onions drain for at least 40 minutes and up to 1 ½ hours. You’re your work surface with or 5 layers of heavy-duty paper towel. When the tomatoes and onions have been draining for at least 40 minutes, dump them out of the sieve onto the 5 layers of paper towel. Spread the tomatoes and onion out and cover them with a few more layers of paper towel. Gently press to remove any excess moisture. Place the tomatoes and onion into a medium mixing bowl. Add the diced mozzarella and basil and toss to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the balsamic glaze, extra virgin olive oil and remaining ¼ tsp fine sea salt and whisk to combine. Set the two bowls aside until you are ready to serve the burgers (you will mix the salsa at the last minute.
STEP #3. For the Crispy Pancetta: Place a large cast iron skillet onto the hottest part of the grill and place the pancetta into the pan (while it heats up) in one layer. You may have to cook the pancetta in 2-3 batches depending on the size of your pan. Remove the pancetta as it is done (it should be golden brown, crispy and delicious!) to a paper towel lined plate.
STEP #4. For the Burgers: Place the dried porcini mushrooms into a small bowl and add enough hot (boiling, if possible) water to cover them. Let them soak for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, carefully lift them out of the water (save the water for another use – soup or sauce) and squeeze them to extract any excess liquid. Finely chop/mince the rehydrated mushrooms and place them into a large wide mixing bowl. Place the 4 ounces of pancetta into the food processor and process until finely ground. Add the ground pancetta to the chopped porcini in the bowl. Smash the 1/3 cup roasted garlic cloves with the side of a knife and then finely chop/mince them into a paste. Add the roasted garlic paste to the porcini and pancetta in the bowl. Add the salt and pepper to the ingredients in the bowl and use a spatula or your hands to mix everything thoroughly. Lightly crumble the ground rib eye and ground chuck over the ingredients in the bowl. Toss everything together lightly (as you would a salad) until everything is evenly distributed. Use your hands to lightly but thoroughly combine the ground meat and other ingredients. Everything should be evenly mixed, but be careful not to overwork the meat. Divide the meat mixture into 6 portions (about 1 cup of the mixture per portion). To form each burger, lightly shape each meat portion into a ball. Use two fingers to poke a hole into the center of each meat ball (not all the way through – just into the center). Fill each hole with about 2 Tablespoons of the chopped grilled scallions. Pinch the meat balls closed sealing the scallions in the center. Form each scallion filled ball into a patty that is about 4 ½” inches across and ¾ – 1” thick. Slightly press/indent the center of each burger/patty so the center is a little bit thinner than the edges. Place the shaped burgers onto a clean platter and cover with plastic wrap. Chill the burgers if you are not going to cook them within the hour. Set the remaining chopped green onions aside – they will be added to the Caprese Salsa just before serving the burgers.
STEP #5. For the Roasted Garlic Basil Sauce: Place the basil, mayonnaise, 1 cup roasted garlic cloves, anchovy (with the oil) and whole grain Dijon mustard into a clean food processor bowl or blender and process or blend until smooth (about 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides once or twice. Scrape the sauce into a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill the sauce if you are not cooking the burgers within the hour.
STEP #6. To Finish the Salsa and Burgers: Make a “divot” or small receptacle in the inside of each top bun by gently removing a small portion of the bread from the cut side of each top bun (you are creating a sort of concave “shell” out of the top bun which will be filled with the Caprese Salsa after the buns are heated on the grill). Add the balsamic glaze/extra virgin olive oil mixture and the reserved chopped grilled scallions to the tomato/mozzarella mixture and use a spatula to gently combine the ingredients. Lightly spray the burgers on both sides with the olive oil spray. Cook/grill the burgers on the hot grill (high heat) for about 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare (cook 1-2 minutes more if you like your burgers more well done). While the burgers cook, lightly spray the cut sides of the buns with the olive oil spray and grill (cut sides down) for about 1-2 minutes, or just until toasted and warm. Remove the toasted buns to individual plates or a serving platter. Spread 2 Tablespoons of the Roasted Garlic Basil Sauce on to the cut sides of each top and each bottom bun (2 Tbsp on the top and 2 Tbsp. on the bottom). Fill the “receptacles” in the top buns with about 1/3 cup of the Caprese Salsa. Place 1/6 of the crispy pancetta onto each bottom bun. Place a cooked burger onto each pancetta topped bottom bun. Quickly flip the Caprese Salsa filled top buns onto the burgers and enjoy!!