This summer has been the most unusual. Usually Finnish summers can be quite cool with a warm spell sometime in July. Sometimes the warm spell lasts a couple of weeks sometimes more, and some years it only makes an appearance for a few days. This year the warm spell started in May and has continued ever since except for a couple of rainy days in the end of June. At the moment it seems like there is no end in sight. In reality, fall will arrive all of a sudden one day. That is how it happens every year. But for now we are enjoying a spectacular summer.
July this year has been exceptional in more ways than one. My sister was married, and their wedding was beautiful, perhaps I might share a bit from it in a later post. And because of the wedding we had family visiting from across the Atlantic. It felt nice to not have had such a long time from the last meeting as I was visiting last May. Although it was fun, there is often a feeling a bittersweetness that lingers because one does not know when the next time will be and the most should be made of the moments at hand. Adding some perhaps unnecessary pressure. But I will share a few moments from our picnic at the beautiful seaside town of Hanko, Finland. And the recipe to my Chimichurri burger that fits the season when outdoor cooking is much more desirable than being inside.
The key ingredient in these burgers is the chimichurri sauce, which is a South American great all-purpose sauce. I use it quite regularly and love the face that it is full of fresh herbs and garlic and since the herbs are submerged in mix of olive oil and red wine vinegar it will keep quite well for several days in the refrigerator. It can be used as a marinade for meats and vegetables or tossed with a serving of pasta or drizzled over a salad. Traditionally it is used as a dip. A little shot of it in the morning would probably keep infection at bay.
For me a good burger is made of quality meat but just a importantly the bread should be of excellent quality. I happened to have homemade commercial yeast free sourdough buns on hand. They complemented the burger extremely well. I love the slightly chewy crust of a sourdough bread and slight tang in the flavor. If I don’t have a good quality buns on hand, I will use any good quality bread, slightly toasted.
What you will need:
Good quality bread or buns, slightly toasted on the grill
ground beef pressed into patties and cooked until medium (Seasonings salt, black pepper, paprika, chili flakes)
a few leaves of arugula
Our garden has been producing quite well this year and due to the warm spring we had an abundance of arugula and kale already early on. I added a bit of arugula in the burger to bring it’s signature flavor.
1 pot of fresh parsley or two generous handfuls
one handful of coriander
2 dl/ 1 c extra virgin olive oil
½ red onion
2 cloves of garlic
chili flakes (I have used Santa Maria brand, Chili explosion)
½ tsp salt or according to taste
½ dl / 1/4 c red wine vinegar
Place all of the other ingredients into the blender except for the red wine vinegar. If the red wine vinegar is added in at this stage the taste will not suffer but the appearance will turn brown.
Mix until at a desired consistency. I prefer my chimichurri to not be a purée and preferably it may have a bit of texture. Last add in the red wine vinegar. Check taste and add salt and seasonings if needed.
Building the burger.
Allow the ground beef to warm at room temperature for a half an hour. Press into patties. Grill until medium done or as you prefer. Season. A few minutes before they are done, spoon a tablespoon of chimichurri sauce onto each patty.
Place the buns on the grill for a few minutes to toast. This can be done shortly before the patties are done. When the bun has received a bit of color brush with a chimichurri sauce.
Place the burger on the bun and add the tomatoe and arugula if preferred. Enjoy with grilled broccolini drizzled with a bit of olive oil and seasonings.