For so many people, summer is synonymous with grilling. I have to admit, I'd never even heard of a "grilling season" until I went to college in Washington, D.C. At that point in my life, I'd only lived in Oklahoma, where we grill three seasons out of four, and Phoenix, where we grill year round. That said, I do love grilled food. There's just something about those grill marks and that unique charred flavor that immediately makes a person want to smile.
I don't make burgers all that often, so when I do, I want them to be really delicious. I was reminded of this flavor combination over the Fourth of July weekend and knew it would be a home run for M and me. We're pretty much fanatical about anything with blue cheese, caramelized onions, or balsamic vinegar. Put all three in one dish--rich, savory deliciousness.
Black and Blue Burgers
an "Apple a Day" original
2 TBSP olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced into half moons
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar, divided
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 c. mayonnaise
spinach or lettuce leaves
3/4 c. blue cheese, crumbled
3 or 4 hamburger buns, toasted
salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a medium saute pan, heat oil over low heat. Add onions and cook for ten minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and cook ten minutes more. Add 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar and cook 10-15 minutes more, until onions reach desired degree of caramelization.
2. Heat an outdoor grill on high heat or spray a cast iron grill pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
3. Shape hamburger into three or four patties and sprinkle each side with salt and pepper, to taste. If cooking on an outdoor grill, cook 2-3 minutes per side, closing the lid to help patties retain moisture. If using a cast iron grill pan, cook patties 3-4 minutes per side.
4. Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise and remaining balsamic vinegar in a small dish. Stir to combine, then season with pepper, to taste.
5. To assemble burgers, toast buns, the slather both side with balsamic mayonnaise. Place patties on bottom buns, then top with spinach or lettuce leaves, caramelized onions, and blue cheese. Serve immediately.