Italian Meatball Burgers with Grilled Tomatoes

1 1/3 lb lean ground beef
1/3 lb ground pork
1/3 lb ground veal
1 egg
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon minced basil
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon ground rosemary
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large tomato, cut into 4 thick slices
4 thick slices Land O’Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend
4 Italian sandwich rolls

Mix together the beef, pork, veal, egg, shallot, garlic, breadcrumbs and spices until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Form into 4 large patties. Set aside. Drizzle both sides of each tomato slice with olive oil and balsamic. Set aside.

Prepare your grill according to manufacturer’s instructions. Cook the burgers until just cooked through, flipping once and topping with cheese when nearly fully cooked. Meanwhile, grill the tomatoes, flipping once, until slightly caramelized, about 3-5 minutes. Bonus points: toast the insides of the rolls for 1 minute on the grill. Place a tomato slice on each of the rolls and top with burgers. Eat immediately!

My thoughts:

When Casey on behalf of Land O’Lakes approached me about sponsoring me to develop a recipe featuring their new Italian cheese blend as part of the Kitchen PLAY 30 Days of Outdoor Dining, I was intrigued. Honestly, I don’t normally buy cheese at the grocery store deli counter but I had this idea for a burger that I thought it would be perfect for. I basically turned my favorite meatball into a more easily grill-able burger.  I wasn’t sure about toppings so I decided to grill some tomato slices rather than make a sauce. I’m so glad I did because they were fantastic despite it not being quite tomato season yet. They caramelized and sweetened, perfectly contrasting with the savory burgers and cheese! The cheese a blend of Italian cheeses and American. I don’t think I’ve eaten American cheese since about 1984 but the flavor wasn’t too present. It mostly tasted like the Italian cheeses but with a more melt-y texture that I think must have come from the American. The melting capabilities were good for a burger; so many Italian cheeses (save mozzarella) do not melt well at all, especially on the grill. The end result tasted sort of like a grilled meatball sub! Very satisfying. It would also be delicious with a more assertive cheese like a smoked provolone.

As per Casey Benedict: *Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Land O’Lakes as part of the Kitchen PLAY SideCar series. All opinions given are my own.

One Comment

  1. This looks awesome. I've been looking for a fancy pants burger – I'm pinning it for sure. Thanks for sharing!