Mediterranean Burgers with Artichoke-Basil Aioli

May 26, 2011

Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff to summer in Minnesota. That means a lot of us are heading to “the lake,” opening up cabins and putting in docks. What do I do with the chickens while we’re away?

This year I’m seriously considering taking the chickens with us to the cabin. Yes, the cats, the chickens, all of us, etc. Well, let’s just say I’m considering it but haven’t done it yet.

I do have a couple of options. I can leave them at home in their run with the door to the coop open and enough food and water for the weekend. I’ve done that and they’ve been fine. Or I can hire a neighborhood child willing to come twice a day to let them out, feed and water them and make sure they’re in securely for the night. I usually opt for the second choice as I like to make sure someone’s checking on them, especially over a three-day weekend.

I do have a third option, and that’s to use the Eglu coop we still have. We could bring it to the cabin and set it up as a vacation home for the girls. I think they’d love it and I wouldn’t have to worry about them while we’re away.

Somehow Marty just doesn’t seem to agree that it would be all that nice to bring the chickens along. But I’m really thinking this just may be the year we’ll have to try it. It wouldn’t be all that hard and really could be quite fun.

Yes, you’re probably right. My idea of fun and Marty’s idea of fun may not coincide this time…stay tuned.

Anyway, whether the chickens come with us to the cabin or not, the start of summer requires burgers. If you’re looking for something great this holiday weekend try these burgers.

I make mine with a combination of ground lamb and ground beef, but feel free to use all beef (a total of 1 1/2 lbs.) if you prefer. The burgers are seasoned with fresh garlic, basil and artichoke hearts. They’re topped with a garlicky mayonnaise filled with chunks of artichokes and fresh basil that’s so good you’ll find yourself wanting to eat it plain. When I recently served these burgers I didn’t have enough buns so I improvised with grilled artisan bread and decided that I like this option better.

Whether you’re celebrating in your backyard or at the lake, enjoy the weekend and may the weather everywhere be sunny and warm.

Mediterranean Burgers with Artichoke-Basil Aioli

Print This Recipe

1 lb. ground lamb, or ground beef (85% lean)
8 oz. ground beef (85% lean)
1/4 cup chopped canned artichoke hearts, patted dry
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 slices artisan bread

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped canned artichoke hearts, patted dry
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 medium garlic clove, minced

Heat grill. Combine all of the burger ingredients except bread in a large bowl until blended. Form into 4 (4 to 5-inch patties). Lightly coat bread with olive oil cooking spray or lightly brush with extra-virgin olive oil. Stir together all of the aioli ingredients until combined.

Grill the burgers over medium heat or coals 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through, turning once or twice. Grill the bread 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once. Top burgers with aioli and serve in toasted bread.

4 servings

10 Responses to “Mediterranean Burgers with Artichoke-Basil Aioli”

  1. May 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm, Cheryl Flandrena said:

    Oh, I will be making these this weekend! Yum! Actually I think my whole will as well since I put copies of the recipe on everyone’s desk :)


    • May 27, 2011 at 6:32 am, admin said:

      Ha! Love it!


  2. May 31, 2011 at 8:49 am, Dianne said:

    I think you should ask Jon to take care of your chickens. He has wanted to raise chickens for years but I am not as adventurous as you so I have squelched that idea. You would be his hero!


    • May 31, 2011 at 9:14 am, admin said:

      I just may, are you sure Jon is really interested???


  3. June 11, 2011 at 9:41 am, Diana said:

    Your post was a hoot. I love by hens dearly, but can’t imagine taking them to the lake. I know you have only a few, and I am sure they are much more tame than the average bird, but it none the less brought a smile to my face.

    The burger’s sound great!


  4. June 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm, admin said:

    Yes, when you only have a few it makes everything different…..Probably makes me more crazy and nutty actually!


  5. June 27, 2011 at 8:19 am, Sarah N said:

    Oh, you should definitely have my dad (Jon) care for the girls while you’re gone! He has an urban farmer hiding in him (I know because I do too)! I should have gotten him a straw hat for Father’s Day….

    P.S. I’ve been telling some of my co-workers about your book and someone just told me that your book is prominently displayed at Cooks of Crocus Hill. Very cool!


    • June 27, 2011 at 9:02 am, admin said:

      I’ve invited your Mom and Dad over to come view the coop and hopefully we’ll get your Dad interested!! (Not sure your Mom is too excited about this though….!) Yes, Cook’s has been very supportive of the book, I’ve done three book signings between their two stores and will be doing a class there in October. It was great seeing you Saturday!


  6. December 11, 2013 at 10:46 am, vera said:

    Loved your book!
    Your current blog doesnt address all the chickens in the book. Did they die? I know 2 are
    indicated, + your 2 newbies.
    I know youre busy, but your latest blog indicates exchange of emails dated 2011. We are
    3 weeks away from 2014. What happened in between?

    We had 1 chicken – (Easter chick) that grew up with us in the city (Chicago). It used to
    Climb on the table and eat with us – when Mom wasn’t looking. I love chickens and
    Are you working on a new continuing book? Would be another winner!


    • December 17, 2013 at 7:57 am, admin said:

      Thanks so much for your comments Vera and I’m so glad you loved the book! Yes, I’ve neglected my blog for way too long and will have to get back into writing it. I still have 2 of my original girls – Roxanne and Cleo are still with me and weathering another cold cold winter – they don’t seem to adapt as easily as the young ones, but I can sympathize with that!

      I also have 3 newbies, born last March and foster raised by the little white silkie Jasmine. All three youngsters are twice as big as their “Mom” but she definitely rules the roost. Unfortunately, the black silkie, Isabelle, turned out to be a male and ended up at a lovely farm where he passed away this fall.

      I loved reading about your chicken eating at the table – that’s a new one for me, not sure Marty would ever agree to that! Thanks for the nudge to get back into blogging. It may be the way to start off the New Year.


Leave a Reply