Sicilian 'Veggie' Burgers

Here is a great summertime burger I believe you will be making over and over again. Sicilian caponata is generally prepared with what every culinary experts call Sicilian aubergine. But being a Yankee, it is simply eggplant.

Sicilian preparation methods introduce a sweet and sour sauce as well, but I think that is just too much for a simple burger so I added just a subtle hint of sweetness from the grated apple while keeping this classic recipe true to form.

Although not truly a Veggie Burger, the addition of caponata as a topping promotes this juicy burger to a level that is both refreshing and different. Try it and see for yourself.


Ingredients

For 4 people

Recipe

  • 4 toasted English muffins
  • 1/2 lb(s) ground beef
  • 1/4 lb(s) ground pork
  • 1/4 ground pork
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 teaspoon(s) dried oregano
  • 1 dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon(s) dried basil
  • 1 celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon(s) celery seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Veggie Caponata Topping, recipe below

Sicilian 'Veggie' Burgers Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine beef, pork, grated apple, oregano, basil and celery seeds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Form into 4 patties and place in refrigerator while preparing Veggie Caponata Topping.
  2. When ready, cook burgers either outside on the grill or inside in a skillet to your liking. Add a patty to each toasted English muffin and top with your homemade Veggie Caponata. Serve and enjoy!
  3. Veggie Caponata Toppping:
  4. 1 small eggplant, peeled, cored and diced
  5. Salt
  6. 1/4 cup olive oil
  7. 2 teaspoons minced garlic in oil
  8. 1 carrot, peeled and sliced thinly
  9. 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
  10. 1/2 pound fresh tomatoes, cored and chopped
  11. 2 ounces roasted red bell peppers, chopped
  12. 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  13. 2 teaspoons capers
  14. Salt and black pepper to taste.
  15. Place the eggplant in a large bowl and liberally sprinkle salt over them, turning so that most of the dices are touched by the salt. This shouldn't take any more than 2-3 teaspoons. Let this set for 20 minutes. Rinse well under cold water, let drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  16. In a large skillet, add the olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat. When hot, add the carrot and celery, saute for 3-4 minutes, or until celery is starting to soften. Add the eggplant, tomatoes and bell peppers.
  17. Cook, while frequently stirring, for 10-12 minutes, or until carrot is crisp tender. Reduce heat to medium-low and add vinegar, capers and celery seeds. Allow to simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper.
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