Muffaletta Burgers

Muffaletta Burgers

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

The classic New Orleans sandwich of cold cuts and olive salad meets the burger in this delicious mash-up.

  • Yield:serves 4
  • Active time: 45 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour
  • Rated:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed green and black olives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers
  • 3 tablespoons chopped giardiniera (Italian-style pickled vegetables)
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 18 ounces freshly ground chuck
  • 1/4 pound sliced spicy capicola or ham
  • 1/4 pound sliced mortadella or bologna
  • 1/4 pound sliced pepperoni or salami
  • 1/4 pound sliced sharp provolone cheese
  • 4 hearty burger buns

Directions

  1. 1.

    Combine olives, capers, giardiniera, vinegar, and olive oil in a medium bowl Mix to combine and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  2. 2.

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

  3. 3.

    Place burgers directly over hot side of grill and cook until well charred, about 2 minutes. Cook on second side until well charred, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to cooler side of grill. Divide capicola, mortadella, salami, and provolone evenly over burgers, cover, and continue to cook until burgers register 125°F to 130°F on an instant read thermometer for medium rare, about 5 minutes total, or 135°F to 140°F for medium, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a large plate and tent with aluminum foil.

  4. 4.

    Toast buns directly over hot side of grill until browned, about 30 seconds.

  5. 5.

    Divide olive salad evenly between top and bottom buns. Place bottom buns on a cutting board. Top with meat-topped burger patty. Close sandwich and serve.