Midwest and Mediterranean Burger (M&M Burger)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes with herbs in oil, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 medium eggplant
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
6 slices of thick applewood smoked bacon
2 pounds ground chuck
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons chopped capers
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Pinot Grigio
6 ounces herbs and garlic goat cheese
extra olive oil for brushing grill and eggplant
1 cup fresh spinach, shredded
2 tablespoons fresh basil, shredded
6 hamburger buns
M and M Mayo:
Combine mayonnaise with chopped sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and pressed garlic clove, whisk together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve burgers.
Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, remove 1/2 of eggplant skin in lengthwise ribbons so that eggplant looks striped with alternating ribbons remaining intact on eggplant. Cut eggplant in 1/2 inch slices and place in a colander in sink or over bowl to catch juices. Sprinkle Kosher salt over slices and let sit while cooking bacon.
Heat grill. Using heavy duty aluminum foil, make a small tray out of an 18″ piece and fold up sides to contain bacon drippings. Place the 6 strips of bacon on foil and place on grill rack. Use indirect heat to cook bacon. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning once. When crisp and throughly cooked remove from grill. Cool and crumble and set aside until ready to mix into burgers.
Mix ground chuck, 2 pressed garlic cloves, capers, pepper, salt and Pinot Grigio. Add crumbled bacon and mix well. Using 1/12 of burger mixture and 1 ounce of goat cheese. Make a flat burger and place the goat cheese in the middle. Add another 1/12 of mixture on top and form hamburger patty with the cheese in the middle and completely covered by the meat so that it won’t leak out during grilling. Repeat until all 6 burgers are made.
Combine in small bowl and set aside until ready to use.
Wash off salt from eggplant and pat dry. Brush both sides with olive oil. Brush grill rack with olive oil. Place hamburgers in center of grill with eggplant on outer edges. Grill eggplant 10 minutes or until done, turning once. Cook hamburgers 15 minutes, turning once or until done to individual taste. Once eggplant and burgers are cooked and removed, place buns on grill, cut side down for 1-2 minutes to toast.
Spread M and M Mayo on top and bottom of toasted buns, place burger on bottom bun, top off with an eggplant slice and spinach/basil mixture. Top with bun and enjoy!