Emilia Burgers 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Jun 7, 2017

Talk about your umami flavor bombs -- these are winners, all around. Besides the pair of quick and savory condiments, the ground beef is laced with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, in honor of chef Massimo Bottura’s roots in the Italian province of Emilia-Romagna.

These are rich-tasting, so a half-burger and salad might make a nice summer meal.

Make Ahead: The salsa and balsamic mayo can be made a day or two in advance; refrigerate in separate containers with plastic wrap directly on the surface. You may have a little salsa verde left over, which would be great on garlic bread or stirred into scrambled eggs.

4 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-8 servings

  • For the salsa verde
  • 1 thick slice day-old crusty white bread
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • Leaves from 8 to 10 stems flat-leaf parsley (1 packed cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • For the burgers
  • 1 pound very cold ground beef (preferably 92 percent lean)
  • 1/2 cup packed freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 hamburger buns, preferably potato
  • For the balsamic mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar


For the salsa verde: Place the bread in a medium bowl. Pour the water over it and let it soak in for a minute or two, then tear the bread, letting the pieces fall into a food processor. Drain the capers and anchovy fillets.

Cut a few slices off the garlic clove and add to the food processor, along with the parsley leaves, capers, anchovies, vinegar, oil and a pinch of salt. Puree until fairly smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. The yield is about 1 cup.

For the burgers: Place the chilled ground beef in a mixing bowl. Fold in the cheese until well incorporated. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and form each into a 3/4-inch-thick patty.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the burger patties and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until well seared and just cooked through (medium-rare). Transfer to a cutting board to rest while you prepare the buns.

Melt the butter, then use it to spread on the inside of the hamburger buns. Toast in a toaster oven until golden brown.

For the balsamic mayonnaise: Stir together the mayonnaise and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl, until well incorporated.

To serve, spread each bottom bun with one-quarter of the balsamic mayo. Place a burger on top, then spread salsa verde over each burger and finish with the top buns. Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “The Shake Shack Cookbook: Recipes and Stories,” by Randy Garutti and Mark Rosati (Clarkson Potter, 2017).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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