Warm Wilted Spinach & Shiitake Mushroom Topped Blue Cheese Bacon Burgers

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.

One of my favorite salads to make is my warmed wilted spinach salad with mushrooms, blue cheese and bacon so why not top a burger with all that goodness!


1/3 cup pecan halves
4 ounces crumbled good quality blue cheese, such as Oregon Blue or Maytag
2-1/4 pounds fresh ground chuck(80% lean)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 thick sliced applewood smoked bacon strips
2 teaspoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sliced trimmed shiitake mushroom caps
1/3 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup Colavita balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons vegetable oil for grilling rack
3 ounces trimmed baby spinach
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
6 large Kaiser rolls, split


Heat a standard outdoor grill to medium-high direct heat. Place pecans in a medium ovenproof skillet on grill rack; shake skillet often until pecans are golden all over about 4 minutes. Transfer pecans to cutting surface, finely chop then place in a small bowl along with the blue cheese. Mix pecans and blue cheese together, form into six 1-1/2 inch round disc.
In a medium bowl mix ground chuck with salt and pepper, divide into 6 portions then form into burgers. Make an indentation in center of each with your thumb, place a blue cheese disc into center of each then press meat into center to seal. Evenly flatten burgers, place on large platter in a single layer, cover with foil and keep chilled while preparing rest of recipe.
In the same ovenproof skillet cook bacon on grill rack until crisp, transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon dripping, add olive oil and place skillet back on grill rack to heat. Add mushrooms and shallots, saute until mushrooms softened about 5 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and mustard. Bring to a slight boil and stir until syrupy about 3 minutes. Set skillet aside to keep warm.
Brush grill rack with vegetable oil then cook burger on one side until golden about 4 minutes, flip and grill on other side until golden about 4 minutes more or until desired degree of doneness. Meanwhile after flipping burgers add spinach to skillet with the mushrooms and stir often until wilted. Spread softened butter onto cut side of rolls and lightly toast cut side down on outer edge of grill rack.
To serve place burgers onto roll bottoms, top with spinach mixture. Break bacon in half then place 4 pieces on top of burgers and last add roll tops. Serves 6.