Presenting the Italo burger: an iconic American sandwich filled with some of the best ingredients Italy has to offer, celebrating both of my culinary identities in one delicious bite. Buffalo mozzarella, the famous red onions of Tropea, prosciutto crudo and a juicy-rare meat patty combined in this beautiful burger which came to me as if in a dream, only I was wide awake and in a service station on the Italian Autostrada.
I’ve long been a fan of the Italian Autogrill, and always look for excuses to stop when we are on road trips, so when they announced the opening of their new fancy food-court concept Autogrill Piú last week, I hopped in a bus with several friend-food-bloggers to check it out. Matcha lattes, artisanal pizzas alla pala, arancine, açaí bowls, mini cheesecakes, fresh panini, ice teas and gourmet burgers… I felt like I had been teleported to the food court of a Beverly-Hills shopping center. (Check out my slideshow below). After ordering a frozen golden Chai tea (which more closely resembled a fancy milkshake than health food), I gravitated immediately toward the gourmet burger bar, Burger In. Here I discovered their mile-high Italian hamburger which was the inspiration for this recipe. There are currently only two of these fancy new Autogrills in Italy, at Crocetta Sud (Alessandria) and Somaglia Est (Lodi), but they’ll be opening up several more shortly. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an Autogrill Piú on the A7 toward Genova, so that I can have more tasty breaks on my way to the beach!
Meanwhile I’ll leave you with the quick and easy recipe for my Italo Burger. Enjoy!
- 1/2 of one red onion from Tropea, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 burger bun
- 3.5 oz (100 g) fresh buffalo-milk mozzarella
- 2 slices of prosciutto crudo
- 7 oz (200 g) ground hamburger meat
- iceberg lettuce
- tomato slices
- ketchup and mayonnaise
For 1 humburger
Place the thinly sliced onion in a small dish and cover with the red vinegar. Let rest for 30 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
Meanwhile toast the bun, shape your burger patty, salt and pepper it, and cook on a hot skillet to desired doneness. Assemble burger from the bottom up in the following order: bun, ketchup, lettuce, burger patty, tomato slices, prosciutto crudo, mozzarella, ketchup, mayonnaise, bun.