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Italian Pork Burger with Fresh Tomato Salsa

A wonderful alternative to the traditional beef burger, these are easy to put together and can be made ahead and kept cold until you are ready to heat the grill. The recipe is quite versatile: we used green olives, but add what you will; a little chopped garlic tossed into the burgers wouldn’t go amiss. Also, if you have any fresh parsley or basil, chop a little and add it in to further accentuate the Mediterranean flavors.

Italian Pork Burger with Fresh Tomato Salsa

1 lb. ground pork
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ -1 tsp. red pepper flakes
olive oil
2 medium or 1 large tomato, chopped
8-10 olives, chopped
drizzle of balsamic vinegar
4 ciabatta rolls
4 tbs. mascarpone cheese
handful baby spinach

Gently mix the pork with the fennel seeds, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Shape into 4 patties. Heat the grill to medium and brush the burgers with olive oil. Cook 5-7 minutes per side, depending on thickness.

Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes and olives with a splash of balsamic vinegar, a little olive oil and some seasoning to make a salsa.

Cut the ciabatta rolls in half and toast on the grill. Top each base with 1 tbs. of mascarpone, a few spinach leaves, a burger, and a spoonful of salsa, then sandwich everything with the lid.


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