Siciliano Burgers

  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins

Susan Asanovic, of Wilton, Conn., won the 1997 Grand Prize in Sutter Home's Build a Better Burger Contest with this recipe.


Sweet Tomato Butter:
3/4cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
2tablespoons oil from sun-dried tomatoes
1teaspoon mild honey
1/2cup red flame seedless grapes (substitute green grapes, if necessary)
2tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon brine-packed capers, rinsed and drained
1/2cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
-- Salt
-- Freshly ground black pepper
1pound ground veal
3/4pound ground beef
4cloves garlic, minced
1/2cup fresh Italian bread crumbs
1/4cup pine nuts
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
large pinch of ground cayenne
1teaspoon dried rosemary, ground in spice grinder
1teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
-- Freshly ground black pepper
6-- ciliegine (1/3-ounce fresh mozzarella cheese balls)
-- Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
12-- radicchio leaves, trimmed to fit the bread
-- Oil from sun-dried tomatoes, for brushing on the radicchio
6-- (3 by 4-inch) pieces Italian bread, preferably rosemary-semolina bread, halved lengthwise


  1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
  2. To make the tomato butter, combine the tomatoes, oil, honey, and grapes in a food processor and process to a paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the capers and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. To make the patties, combine the veal, beef, garlic, bread crumbs, nuts, cinnamon, cayenne, and rosemary in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and flatten into 6 disks. Place 1 ciliegine in the center of each disk, then bring up the meat to enclose the cheese in the middle. Form into six patties to fit the bread sections.
  4. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Meanwhile, brush the radicchio lightly with tomato oil and grill until charred but still crisp, about 4 minutes. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the bread, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
  5. To assemble the burgers, spread the tomato butter over the cut sides of the bread. On each bread bottom, place a radicchio leaf, a patty, and another radicchio leaf. Add the bread tops and serve.


Recipe courtesy of Sutter Home's Build a Better Burger Contest,

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 630
  • Glycemic Load 13.94
  • Fat 39g
  • Saturated Fat 12g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 17g
  • Cholesterol 115mg
  • Sodium 1020mg
  • Potassium 820mg
  • Carbohydrate 39g
  • Fiber 4g
  • Sugars 6g
  • Protein 33g
  • Trans Fat 1g
  • Vitamin A 15%
  • Vitamin C 40%
  • Calcium 20%
  • Iron 25%