- 24 cherry tomatoes
- Dried Italian seasoning or dried oregano
- Salt and pepper
- 2 slices good quality white bread, crust removed and torn into pieces
- Milk, for soaking bread
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 3/4 pound ground sirloin
- 1/2 pound mortadella or prosciutto, very thinly sliced
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 large cloves garlic, grated or minced
- A couple sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- A handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons grated onion
- A couple small handfuls of grated Pecorino cheese
- A little freshly grated nutmeg (about 1/8 teaspoon)
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for liberal drizzling
- 1 bundle farm-fresh spinach, trimmed and cleaned
- 2 hard boiled eggs, halved lengthwise
- 2 ciabatta rolls, split or 2 chunks of ciabatta bread, split and lightly toasted
- A few leaves fresh basil, torn or chopped
- Balsamic drizzle, store-bought or homemade (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
Halve the cherry tomatoes and arrange them on a baking rack placed over a baking sheet so that the heat can surround the tomatoes while they roast. Season with the Italian seasoning or oregano, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from oven and reserve.
Meanwhile, bring a few inches of salted water to a boil.
For the burgers, place the torn bread in a bowl, cover with milk and let soak. Place the pork and sirloin in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Coarsely chop the mortadella or prosciutto and place in a food processor. Pulse to process into a fine chop. Add the minced meat to the bowl with the pork and sirloin, along with the egg. Wring the excess milk out the bread and mash it into moist crumbs between your fingers as you add to the meat bowl.
Add the garlic, rosemary, parsley, onion, grated Pecorino cheese and nutmeg to the meat bowl. Mix the meats well with your hands to combine. Drizzle with EVOO.
Blanch the spinach leaves in the boiling water, then cold shock them in a bowl of ice water. Let dry on kitchen towels. Layer a few leaves of spinach and wrap them around a hard boiled egg half; repeat with the remaining spinach and egg halves.
Heat a nonstick griddle pan or large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Take a quarter of the meat and form a long, loaf-like burger patty around each spinach-wrapped egg. Cook the burgers for 6 minutes on each side under a foil tent.
Toss the reserved tomatoes with the basil and a little EVOO.
Serve the burgers open-faced on the bread, topped with tomatoes and basil and a balsamic drizzle, if desired, as garnish.