Triple Onion Thyme Burger with Crispy Bacon Capellini and Fresh Tomato Salsa

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


Crispy Bacon Capellini:
1 1/2 lb. double smoked bacon, very thinly sliced (have your deli or butcher do this)
1/3 cup avocado or grapeseed oil
Toasted Garlic and Grilled Green Onions:
16 large garlic cloves, separated but unpeeled
40 green onions washed, trimmed, and sliced
Carmelized Onions:
4-5 cups sweet onion, peeled, thinly sliced
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Green Onion Mayonnaise:
6 cloves toasted garlic (prepared in step #3)
30 grilled green onions (prepared in step #3)
1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup prepared mayonnaise 
1/4 cup whole grain Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
1/2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Fresh Tomato Salsa:
1 1/2 cups seeded, cored, julienned plum tomato
3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
4 toasted garlic cloves (prepared in step #3)
2 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup cooked crispy bacon capellini (from step #2, divided)
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup avocado or grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup peeled, quartered and thinly sliced sweet onion
10 grilled green onions (prepared in step #3), thinly sliced Carmelized Onions and Thyme Burgers:
1 1/4 cup of caramelized onion (from step #3)
6 cloves toasted garlic (from step #3)
1/3 cup minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 ground chuck(80% lean, 20% fat)
Avocado or grapeseed oil
To Finish the Burgers:
avocado or grapeseed oil
6 uncooked burgers, from step #7
(10 oz.) smoked mozzarella, sliced and divided into 6 equal portions
6 sweet onion challa, regular challa or brioche hamburger sized (5" in diamter) rolls/buns
Green onion mayonnaise (from step #5)
Tomato Salsa (from step #s 6 and 9)
Bacon Capellini (from step #2)



1) Prepare Your Grill: FOR A GAS GRILL: If you have a grill that has more than one section, heat one section to high and one to medium. If you only have one section, heat it to medium. 2) FOR THE CRISPY BACON CAPELLINI: Stack the bacon into four even stacks. Use a very sharp chef's knife to cut the bacon into long thin strips ("capellini"). Place a large cast iron dutch oven or skillet on the cooler side of your grill and add the 1/3 cup avocado or grapeseed oil. Gently separate the strips of bacon as much as you can (they will separate as they cook) and place it into the dutch oven or skilled( the dutch oven or skilled does not have to be hot-you want to cook the bacon slowly so it gets very crispy and renders all of its fat). Use tongs to gently toss the bacon as it cooks. If your fire is a bit hot you may have to temporarily remove the dutch oven or skillet from the heat. When the bacon is golden brown and very crispy (about 10 -15 minutes), remove it to a medium strainer set over a bowl to drain. Leave as much of the fat as possible in the pan and laeve the pan ont he grill as long as it is not getting too hot. FOR THE TOASTED GARLIC AND GRILLED GREEN ONIONS: After removing the bacon from the dutch oven or skillet (leaving the fat in the dutch oven or skillet and leaving it on the grill), add the unpeeled garlic cloves to the oil and bacon fat in the pan. Use tongs to toss the garlic cloves as they cook. You want them to become golden brown on all sides-be careful not to let them det too dark or burn. As they are finished (5-10 minutes), remove them to a small bowl to cool slightly. When the garlic cloves are cool enough to handle, remove the papery skins(discard skins). Remove the skillet from the grill so the oil/fat in the pan doesn't burn while you prepare to cook the green onion(you will be grilling them directly on the grill). Remove 1-2 Tbsp. of the fat from the pan. Let the fat cool slightly and then toss it with the green onions, coating them thoroughly. Grill the green onion on the hottest side of the grill fo r2-3 minutes on each side or until they wilt slightly and have grill marks on both sides. Remove them to a bowl or plate to cool slightly while you continue with the recipe. Place the dutch oven or skillet with theremaining oil/fat in it back on to the grill (there should still be a considerable amount of bacon fat/oil in the pan) and adjust heat on grill to medium. 4) FOR THE CARAMELIZED ONIONS: Add the 4-5 cups sliced sweed onions, 1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper to the dutch oven or skillet and cook slowly, stirring them every minute or two, until the yare carmaelized (dark brown) but still very moist. This will take about 15-20 minutes at least. When they are done, remove them with about 1/4 cup of the fat from the pan to a small bowl set in an ice bath (or into the freezer) to cool them quickly and completely before adding them to the meat. 5) FOR THE GREEN ONION MAYONNAISE: Place the 6 peeled toasted garlic cloves, 30 grilled green onions, 1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup prepared mayonnaise, 1/4 cup whole grain Dijon mustard, 1/2 Tbsp. honey, 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, 1/2 tsp. fien sea salt and 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper into a blender or food processor and process until the garlic and onions are thoroughly chopped and incorporated, and all of the ingredients are evenly combined (2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl or jar a few times as it mixes). Scrape the Green Onion Mayonnaise into a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate it if you are not going to use it within one hour. 6) FOR THE FRESH TOMATO SALSA: In a small bowl, toss the julienned tomato with the salt. Place the tomato into a meduim sieve or strainer set over a bowl and let drain for at least 30 minutes. While tomato drains, make the salsa dressing for the tomatoes and form the burgers. For the salsa dressing: Ina blender, combine the 4 cloves peeled garlic, 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, half of the cooked bacon capellini (1/4 cup), 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup avocado or grapeseed oil, 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt and 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper. Blend/puree until thoroughly mixed (about 2 minutes). Add the rest of the bacon capellini (1/4 ucp) and pulse 3-4 times to chop it coarsely. Scrape the dressing into a small mixing bowl. Place th esliced sweet onion and sliced grilled green onion in a medium mixing bowl and toss to combine. Set the onion mixture aside with the salsa dressing and draining tomatoes while you prepare the burgers (you will toss them all together at the last minute). 7) FOR THE BURGERS: When the caramelized onions have cooled completely (the fat will have congelaed), scoop them, fat and all (1 1/4 cup of them-save any extra for another recipe), onto a cutting board and finely chop them. Place them into a large mixing bowl. Place the 6 cloves peeled, toasted garlic on the cutting board and use the side of your knife to mash it into a paste. Add the garlic to the onions in the bowl. Add the 1/3 cup minced fresh thyme, 1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt and 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper to the bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands or a rubber spatula. Crumble the 1 3/4 lb. ground chuck over the onion mixture in the bowl nad gently but thoroughlyincorporate the onion mixture into the meat-you will need to use your hands for this. NOTE: Although you do not want to handle the meat any more than necessary, you do want to make sure the onion mixture is evenly distributed throughout the meat. When mixed thoroughly, divide into 6 burgers/patties (a slightly rounded or "heaping" 3/4 cup meat mixture per burger-if you have a little meat mixture left over, make the chef a little spicy meat ball). Use the avocado or grpaeseed oil to coat your hands (or the burger press) and gently form each portion into a patty that is about 4 1/2 " in diamter and about 1 " thick (I like to use a burger press for this(about $3.00 agt Wal-Mart but you can also do it by hand). 8) TO COOK AND FINISH THE BURGERS: Brush the hot grill and the burgers with a little of the avocado or grapeseed oil. Grill the burgers on the hot grill, uncovered for about 3-4 minutes per side(for medium rare0 the burgers should sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before grilling). After flipping the burgers and after they have cooked for about 2 minutes on the second side, top each one with 1/6 of the smoked mozzarella cheese and cover the grill. Cook, covered for about 1 minute, or until the cheese melts. Remove the cooked burgers to a clean plate and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm and rest while you toast the buns. 9) FINISH MIXING THE TOMATO SALSA AND TOAST THE BUNS: To finish the Tomato Salsa, add the drained tomatoes and the dressing to the onion mixture and toss to combine thoroughly. To toast the buns, gently remove any excess bread from the inside of the top of the bun (this will give you a little nest or "divot" to hold the bacon and salsa in place on the burger. Lightly oil the cut sides of the buns. Place the lightly oiled buns, cut sides down onto the grill to toast (watching them carefully so they don't burn) for about 1-2 minutes. 10) BUILD THE BURGER: Place the toasted buns onto 6 plates, cut sides up. Spread about 1-2 Tbsp. of the Green Onion Mayonnaise on to the cut/toasted side of each top and bottom bun (spread it in th eindentation where you removed some of the bread from the top of the buns). Place 1 hot cooked burger onto each bottom bun; top with about 1/3 cup of the Tomato Salsa. Place 1/4 -1/3 cup of the bacon capellini into the indentation in each top bun (the Green Onion Mayonnaise will help it stick there) and quickly flip the top buns onto the burgers. Serves 6.