Salmon Burgers with Ginger Sesame Aioli
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 shallots, peeled
1¼ pounds fresh, well-chilled salmon filet, skin removed and cut into 2 inch chunks
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Ginger Sesame Aioli
½ cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon finely chopped pickled ginger
Dash wasabi paste, or to taste
4 medium crisp butter or romaine lettuce leaves
4 brioche or other soft hamburger buns, sliced in half and toasted
To make the burgers: In a food processor, mince the garlic and shallots. Add the salmon, mayonnaise, basil, anchovy paste and pepper and pulse until the mixture resembles the texture of ground meat. Divide the mixture into 4 balls and form them into 1-inch-thick patties. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
To make the mayonnaise: In a small bowl stir together the mayonnaise, garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, vinegar and ginger; season with the wasabi paste and salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat the barbecue for medium-high heat grilling. Cook the burgers 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until just cooked through the center and golden brown. Alternately, spray olive oil in a large saute or grill pan. Heat the pan on medium-high heat and saute the burgers for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until just cooked through the center. Be careful not to overcook or they will be dry.
To serve, spread a tablespoon of aioli on the bottoms of the buns and then place some lettuce on top of the bun. Top with the burgers and another tablespoon of the aioli. Cover with the bun tops.
Diane Rossen Worthington