Lovage Burgers

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Lovage, sometimes known as ‘love parsley’, is a toothsome and distinctive herb. It tastes a little like celery, with undertones of parsley and chervil, and has a latent sweetness that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. If you’ve never made its acquaintance, now’s your chance, with Alice Waters’ San Francisco twist on the classic all-American hamburger.

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 lovage leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 800g/lb organic minced chuck beef
  • Focaccia bread
  • Grilled onions
  • Dijon mustard
  • Rocket leaves

Method

In a mortar, pound the garlic with a little salt. Add the lovage leaves and briefly continue to pound. Put the minced beef into a bowl and mix in the garlic and lovage, using your hands. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Divide the burger mixture into four portions, and mould each one into a patty between your palms. It is important to pack the meat well and make sure the edges of the patties are smooth to ensure even cooking. Leave a little concave dimple in the centre of each patty.

Warm up the grill — you’re aiming for a medium heat. For a medium-rare burger, grill each patty for about 5 minutes on each side.

Slice your bread. The slices should just match the size of your burger, so trim them a little if necessary. Toast each slice until lightly browned, one side just slightly more crisp than the other.

Now build your burger: take a slice of bread (crisper side down), place the patty on top (dimpled side up), and garnish to your heart’s content with grilled onions, a smear of Dijon mustard and some rocket leaves. And that’s all, folks.

Jamie Oliver’s
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