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Grilled, Sandwiches

Italian Caprese sliders

Italian Caprese sliders
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

To any real fan, a hamburger is never "just a burger." A great burger is a work of art, passionately thought out and painstakingly executed. The very extension of the grill master's own identity. And, of course, determining what makes ... Read more

Total time: 50 minutes | Makes 18 sliders
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic, divided
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 18 white dinner rolls
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 large Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 36 medium-large basil leaves, stemmed

Step 1Make the patties: In a large bowl, gently but thoroughly mix together the ground beef, Italian sausage, Italian seasoning, onion, bell pepper and 2 cloves minced garlic. Press the mixture into a jelly roll pan, using a rolling pin to make a flat, even layer. (Cover the meat with plastic wrap, if necessary, to keep it from sticking as it's rolled.) Cut the meat into roughly 2-inch squares.

Step 2Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. Grill the burgers until cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. When the burgers are done, place a slice of mozzarella on each burger and tent with foil while preparing the buns.

Step 3Warm the rolls: Wrap the rolls in foil and place on the top rack of the grill, or place in a warm oven until warmed through.

Step 4In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and remaining minced clove garlic. This makes a scant one-half cup vinaigrette.

Step 5Assemble the sliders: Place a cheese-topped patty on the base of the bun, add a slice of tomato and 2 basil leaves. Drizzle each burger with 1 teaspoon of the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Note: From Susan Salerno of Henderson, Nev.

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