Italian Burgers with Kalamata Olive Relish

Serves 4. Recipe is reprinted with permission from “MasterChef Junior Cookbook.” ©2017 by Shine Television, LLC. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. The recipe’s introduction says, “During a serious burger challenge, (MCJ contestant) Gavin smartly wanted to be sure his burger stood out from the classic American varieties around him. By using ground beef and mild Italian sausage as the base and spreading the buns with a kalamata olive relish, he created these ‘Italian burgers.’ … Feel free to play around with substituting different kinds of sausage or meat in place of the sausage and beef. For instance, if you like the flavor of lamb, you could turn these into ‘Mediterranean’ burgers by using a mixture of ground lamb and beef, and topping with feta instead of provolone.”

Olive Relish:

1 cup kalamata olives, pitted

1 cup mayonnaise

Lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed

½ pound ground beef

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

1 red onion, thickly sliced

4 slices provolone cheese

4 brioche buns, sliced in half

2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced

Baby arugula

1. Make the olive relish: In a blender or food processor, combine the olives and mayonnaise and blend until smooth. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

2. Make the burgers: In a large bowl, combine the sausage, ground beef, garlic and Italian seasoning. Form 4 patties that are slightly wider than the buns.

3. Heat a grill to medium or a grill pan over medium heat. Sear the patties, flipping once, until cooked through to your preference, about 4 minutes per side for medium or an internal temperature of 130 F. While the burgers cook, sear the red onion as well, if you like grilled onions, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Just before the burgers are finished cooking, place the sliced cheese on top and let melt. Toast the buns.

4. To serve, spread olive relish on one side of a toasted bun. Add the meat, grilled onion, tomato, arugula and the top bun.