Café Salle Pleyel Burger

Dorie Greenspan, Author of Around My French Table Dorie Greenspan, Author of Around My French Table

A French take on an American Classic, Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Around My French Table, features a burger topped with a red onion marmalade and Parmesan cheese. If that alone doesn’t make your mouth water, let’s talk about the inclusion of capers, cornichons, parsley, and more, to make this dish one savory wine pairing.


Café Salle Pleyel Burger

Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

For the Onion Marmalade

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1 cup water

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Burgers

About 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped or sliced

1/4 cup drained capers

6 cornichons

1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, preferably sirloin, or a mix of sirloin and chuck, at room temperature

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or peanut oil

2 ounces Parmesan, cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler (to make about 1/2 cup)

For Serving

4 sesame seed hamburger buns, toasted

2 dill pickles, cut lengthwise into ribbons with a vegetable peeler

Ketchup (very optional)


To make the onion marmalade: In a small saucepan, stir together the onion and water. Add the coriander and butter, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring regularly, for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture is soft and jammy; you’ll have about 1/3 cup marmalade. Scrape the marmalade into a bowl, cover with plastic, and set aside. (You can make the marmalade up to 2 days ahead and keep it tightly covered in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before using.)

To make the burgers: Using a mini food processor and the pulse button, chop the tomatoes, capers, cornichons, tarragon, and parsley. (Or chop the ingredients by hand, using a large chef’s knife.) Put the beef in a large bowl, scrape the tomato mixture over it, and season with salt and pepper (there may be enough salt from the capers and cornichons). Using your hands, mix everything together lightly, then shape the mixture into 4 patties, about 3/4 inch thick.

Choose a large heavy-bottomed skillet (cast-iron is great here), pour in the oil, and put it over medium heat. When the oil is really hot, slip in the burgers. (Alternatively, you can cook them in a grill pan or on a grill – do that, and you won’t need the oil.) Cook the hamburgers for 2 minutes on a side if you want them rare (the French preference), 3 minutes if you want them medium-rare. You can cook them longer if that’s the way you like your burgers, but there isn’t much fat in these burgers, so they may get a little dry if you go beyond medium-rare. Transfer to a platter and immediately top them with the cheese.

Spread the bottoms of the buns with a little onion marmalade and divide the dill pickles among them. Put the burgers on the pickles and close up the sandwiches. Serve with ketchup, if you like.

*Tip: You can make the onion marmalade a couple of days ahead and keep it covered and chilled; same with the sun-dried tomato mixture.


Recommended Wine Pairings:

  • Based on the salty and savory nature of the burger, this would pair well with a Rioja.
  • If you’d like to stick with a French pairing, we recommend a Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

If you like this recipe, be sure to pick up a copy of Dorie’s Around My French Table.


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