Pierre Piper’s Pickled Pepper Patties


Pickled Peppers:

1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 each green pepper, julienned
1 each red pepper, julienned
1 each yellow pepper, julienned
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

Nicoise Aioli:

1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 each small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
1/4 teaspoon good quality anchovy paste
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin
Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup mayonnaise


2 pounds ground chuck
1 cup black olives, preferably
Nicoise or Kalamata, rinsed
and drained
3 each garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin
Olive Oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves,
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves,
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 slices of Gruyere or a high quality
Swiss cheese
6 Kaiser rolls, split
6 leaves of Bibb lettuce



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high.

To make the pickled peppers, combine the rice wine vinegar, sugar, fennel seed, the julienned peppers and the salt in a fire-proof skillet. Mix well to combine and place in the center of the grill. Bring the mixture up to a boil, then remove to a glass bowl and refrigerate to cool.

To make the Nicoise Aioli, combine the parsley, garlic, mustard, anchovy paste, olive oil, pepper and mayonnaise in a food processor or blender and pulse until well blended. Refrigerate until serving time.

To make the patties, combine the black olives, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, marjoram, rosemary, capers, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and pulse until well blended. Combine the olive puree and the meat in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions, about 1/3 pound each, and form each portion into patties that will fit the rolls.

Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill until browned on the bottoms,about 3-4 minutes. Turn the patties and continue to grill until done to desired preference, about 4 minutes longer to reach medium. Just before burgers are done cooking, place one slice of Gruyere atop each burger until melted and place rolls, cut side down, along the outside of the grill rack to lightly toast.

To assemble the burgers, generously spread Nicoise Aioli over the cut sides of each roll. On the bottom of each roll, place one leaf of Bibb lettuce, a patty and a equal amount of pickled peppers. Add the tops of the rolls and serve.

Makes 6 burgers

Duane Leggett, Appleton, Wisconsin