The Ultimate Tuscan-Californian Burger

This Mediterrean style burger showcases some Italian finishing touches.


  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 head roasted garlic
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 12 ounces gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 20 spinach leaves, stems removed
  • 6 ciabatta squares, sliced
  • 12 ounces pancetta, sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, smashed up in a bowl with some salt


  1. Allow the meat to come to room temperature. Put the ground lamb and beef in a large bowl with the rosemary, garlic, lemon zest,red pepper flake, salt and pepper. Combine with clean hands until it is mixed thoroughly, then portion out six burger patties.

  2. Heat the grill to medium high heat. While the grill is getting ready, heat up a small pan and fry off the pancetta slices in batches. They crisp almost instantly. Drain on paper towels.

  3. Drop the butter into a medium size pan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the oil and the red onion. Saute until the onions are completely translucent and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.

  4. Turn the heat to low, add the honey and the balsamic, stir into the onions and cook just until the vinegar is evaporated and has the consistency of a loose jelly. Set aside until assembly time.

  5. Put the burgers on the hot grill and cook to the desired temperature.

  6. Drizzle some olive oil onto the cut sides of the ciabatta squares and place on the grill for 1-2 minutes, or until grill marks appear.

  7. For the aioli, if you do not want to make your own mayo, use a good brand and drop it in te blender with the lemon juice and all of the cloves from the roasted head of garlic. Blend until smooth.

  8. For assembly, put a heaping tablespoon of the smashed avocado on the top slice and the garlic aioli on the bottom slice. Place the burger patty, followed by 2 ounces of gorgonzola crumbles, then the onion jam, crispy pancetta and finally the spinach. I like to put a toothpick through an olive, sweet pickle, or cherry tomatoes and stake it like a flag on top of the burger!

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The Ultimate Tuscan-Californian Burger