These burgers are pretty rich, so they need no accompaniment other than a fairly assertive and acidic salad on the side. I cannot stress enough the importance of using homemade olive oil mayonnaise here to attain the true flavor of Spain, so give it a try! A great recipe to refer to is Two-Minute Mayonnaise, using an immersion blender and a Mason jar, from J. Kenji López-Alt on the Serious Eats website. Instead of using all vegetable oil, though, substitute ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil for some of it and you’ll have a beautiful, and easy, aïoli-style mayonnaise, ready to use on all your summertime burgers.
Makes 6 burgers
For the burgers:
1½ pounds ground pork
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 lemon, juiced and zested
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
For aïoli, parsley salad and serving:
pinch saffron threads
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ clove garlic, grated
2 cups flat leaf Italian parsley leaves
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
12 slices country-style bread or sliced focaccia
Combine the ground pork with the paprika, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste, and chili flakes (more, if you like heat). Form into 6 patties and let rest in the fridge at least an hour and up to overnight.
Stir the saffron into 1 teaspoon lemon juice and allow it to “bloom,” at least 5 minutes or up to 20. Stir into the mayonnaise and add the lemon zest, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the parsley leaves with the remaining 1 teaspoon lemon juice, some salt and pepper, and a dribble of olive oil.
When ready to cook, preheat a charcoal grill or cast iron skillet. Grill or pan-fry the burgers until cooked through, then toast or grill the bread. Spread each slice of bread with some of the saffron mayonnaise and assemble the burgers with some parsley salad on top of each one. Serve immediately.
Sarah Blackburn is a home cook, recipe developer, soccer mom, Italophile and managing editor at Edible Boston. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.