Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Eggplant Bun-licious Burger

I know what you're saying... what in the world is happening? Did she just seriously make a no bread burger— how original, everyone does that! So yes, a "burger" means: bun, meat, and more than likely some cheese. Well thats the definition our culture has given it anyway. I know everyone has come up with various types of bread substitutes and believe me i've tried them all. By far the eggplant is the most complex flavor profile i've ever had. So this is my non-bread burger.

Plus, if you've been following along (which I hope you have been) we like to keep things in season/local here on Make With Your Hands. Since it's summertime, theres no better time to go outside and get the grill working and using things like eggplant which is at it's prime in the summer

It's literally a party of flavors in your mouth. Nothing is better than caramelized onions with meat and then that little hint of pesto comes in as the you bite through the crisp eggplant... ah! We're so close to 4th of July, this is definitely on the menu this year!
8 oz. 97%-lean ground beef
1 yellow onion
2 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. olive oil
1 American eggplant (the dark black ones)
1 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. sea salt
2 tbs. pesto
1/2 c. baby spinach leaves

 Cut up half of your yellow onion as small diced squares. The other half is sliced for caramelization. To prepare your burger meat, mix the ground beef, diced onions, minced garlic, olive oil (1 tsp) and salt and pepper. Separate in half (4 oz. portions) and place on griddle. Cook meat until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees (F).

Wash and slice up eggplant into 1/4" slices. Place on paper towels and sprinkle with 1 tbs salt. Allow them to sit for about 30 minutes until the water as been pulled out. I flipped mine over and did the other side, but you could skip this step if you feel enough water has been expelled. Season slices with olive oil and the remaining 1 tbs sea salt. Place in preheated 400 degree oven on the top rack. Slices should not touch each other. Cook for 20 minutes or until totally crisped (not burned).

To caramelize onions, place remaining onion slices in 1 tbs. garlic with a dash of sea salt and cook on medium heat stirring constantly.

Once everything's been cooked, you're ready to assemble. Take eggplant slices out and let them cool down so they definitely "dry up" and become crisp (about 5-10 minutes). Spread about 1/2 tbs. serving of pesto on the slices. Add baby spinach (1/4 c) to bottom, top with your grilled meat, onions and the remaining slices as your top bun!

What's the most creative burger you've ever made?

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