Pancetta Mozzarella Burger with Sweet & Tangy Grilled Pomodoro Salad
Goat Cheese Thyme Mayonnaise spread:
10 oz. of Goat Cheese (softened or room temperature works best)
1 cup of good quality mayonnaise
1/4 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp of kosher salt
1 tbsp of fresh chopped Thyme
1 tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice
Balsamic Dijon salad dressing:
1/8 cup of Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/8 cup of Colavita Balsamic Vinegar
1/8 cup of Dijon mustard
1 tbsp of honey (clover honey preferred)
1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
Grilled Pomodoro Salad with Spring Greens:
30 grilled grape tomatoes
1 tbsp of Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups of Spring Mix salad greens (Preferred Spring Mix would include frisee, mizuna and arugula but any blend would work.)
2 cups of chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 cup of thinly sliced red onion
2 pounds freshly ground chuck
1 tsp of freshly grated garlic
2 tsp of kosher salt
1 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
12 slices of cooked pancetta
6 thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
6 good quality Hamburg buns
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To prepare the goat cheese thyme mayonnaise spread, using a fork or whisk, in a medium size bowl combine goat cheese, mayonnaise, black pepper, salt, thyme and lemon juice until smooth. Cover and keep chilled.
Prepare the Balsamic Dijon dressing by combining the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and red wine vinegar in a small mason jar with lid and shake well until blended. If you do not have a mason jar any small container with an air tight lid would work.
To prepare the patties combine the chuck, garlic, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties that will fit your buns. Once your patties are the desired shape make a slight indentation in the center of each burger patty with your fingers, this will prevent your burgers from over plumping in the center during the cooking process. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Heat a large, heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain, cover to keep warm.
Thread the grape tomatoes on metal skewers, lightly brush with olive oil and place on grilling rack, turning, until tomatoes begin to slightly crack about 3-4 minutes, transfer from skewers to a plate, cover to keep warm.
To make the salad, in a large bowl, toss the salad greens, romaine lettuce, and red onion with 2-3 tablespoons of the Balsamic Dijon dressing coating lightly. Add the grilled grape tomatoes and set aside.
When your grill is at the desired cooking temperature place the burger patties on the center area of your grill rack, close the lid and cook, turning once until done, approximately 5 to 7 minutes on each side. During the last couple minutes of grilling time top each burger with 2 slices of cooked pancetta and one slice of fresh mozzarella, a minute before the cheese is completely melted place the buns, cut side down on the outer edges of the grill rack and toast lightly.
To assemble the burgers, spread an even amount of the goat cheese thyme mayonnaise over the cut toasted sides of the buns. On each bottom bun, place a grilled burger with pancetta and melted mozzarella cheese, followed by equal portions of the tossed grilled tomato and mixed green salad, add the top bun and serve.