Originally aired May 26, 2010
- 24 cherry tomatoes
- Dried Italian seasoning or dried oregano
- Salt and pepper
- 2 slices good quality white bread, crust removed and torn into pieces
- Milk, for soaking bread
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 3/4 pound ground sirloin
- 1/2 pound very thinly sliced mortadella or prosciutto
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 large cloves garlic, grated or minced
- A couple of sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
- A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 3 to 4 tablespoons grated onion
- A couple of small handfuls grated Pecorino cheese
- A little freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon
- EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for liberal drizzling
- 1 bundle farm fresh spinach, trimmed and cleaned
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise
- 2 ciabatta rolls, split or 2 chunks of ciabatta bread, split and lightly toasted
- A few leaves basil, torn or chopped
- Balsamic drizzle, store-bought or homemade, optional*
Preheat oven to 350F.
Halve cherry tomatoes and arrange them on a baking rack placed over a baking sheet so the heat can surround the tomatoes while they roast. Season with Italian seasoning or oregano, salt and pepper, and roast 30 minutes. Remove tomatoes from oven and reserve.
Meanwhile, bring a few inches of salted water to a boil.
For the burgers, place torn bread in a bowl, cover with milk and let soak. Place pork and beef in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Coarsely chop mortadella or prosciutto, and place in a food processor. Pulse machine to process into a fine chop. Add the minced meat to the bowl with the pork and beef along with the egg. Wring excess milk out the bread and mash it into moist crumbs between your fingers as you add to the meat bowl.
Add the garlic, rosemary, parsley, onion, add a couple handfuls of grated cheese, and nutmeg. Mix the meats well with your hands to combine. Drizzle with EVOO.
Blanch spinach leaves in boiling water then cold shock them in a bowl of ice water. Let dry on kitchen towels. Layer a few leaves of spinach and wrap them around a hard-boiled egg half.
Heat a nonstick griddle pan or large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Take 1/4 of the meat and form a long, loaf-like burger patty around each spinach-wrapped egg. Cook burgers 6 minutes on each side under a tinfoil tent.
Toss the reserved tomatoes with basil and a little EVOO.
Serve burgers open-faced on bread, topped with tomatoes and basil, and a drizzle of balsamic as garnish.