Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mini Burgers & Antipasti Salad

I must admit, it does get exhausting. Night after night, trying to come up with an original dinner menu- especially in New York City, where ordering-in is just so easy! But, at the end of the day, no matter how good the restaurant, there's nothing like home-cooking. And that's the truth, even when it's something as simple as homemade burgers. Everyone loves a moist, flavorful burger....serve with my colorful antipasti salad (which always gets rave reviews), couscous or fries- and a delicious dinner is ready in no time.
This simple burger recipe requires just a few staple ingredients: tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, dried basil, brown sugar, salt and pepper. No eggs or breadcrumbs needed. This way, the burgers turn out juicy and moist each and every time.
As for the antipasti salad, this one has become a favorite of mine. I throw together marinated store bought olives, sundried tomatoes, grilled artichokes (all from the antipasti counter at my supermarket), and add some sliced fresh tomatoes, a sliced avocado- and season with a good squirt of fresh lemon juice, a drizzle of strong extra virgin olive oil, a fresh minced chili pepper, and lots of salt and pepper. You really can't mess it up. Perfect with a fresh baguette and some chummus.

Mini Burgers
about 10 mini burgers

1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients and use your hands to mix well. Form into about 10 mini burgers, and place on a lightly greased baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to bake. (I often put these together in the morning, and store in my fridge until I am ready to bake just before dinner, that way they are at their juciest! You can form into burgers and store in the fridge for up to 2 days before cooking.) Preheat oven 350, bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Antipasti Salad
Serves 4

The key to this salad is using antipasti ingredients that you love. If you're crazy about spicy olives, throw in a bunch of spicy olives. If you love roasted peppers, add them. Make sure to incorperate the oils and sauces from each of the ingredients you use. Do not drain any of the vegetables. Scoop them out with their liquid.

1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
1/4 cup marinated sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup marinated olives
2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced thin
1 avodaco, sliced thin
drizzle of good olive oil
juice from half a lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
crushed chili pepper flakes
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving, that way all the flavors mingle. Serve with a crusty baguette or pita chips.



  1. those burgers look amazing...cant wait to try them!

  2. Your antipasti salad is fanstastic! I will definitely be making this soon. Thanks for sharing :)