Cedar's Café Blended Burger

Toni Elkhouri

Cedar’s Cafe, Melbourne, FL

This recipe, a winner of our 2016 Blended Burger Project™, features ground beef blended with portobella, shiitake, and cremini mushrooms topped with tangy pomegranate ketchup, banana pepper–curry mustard, tahini rémoulade, balsamic onions, goat cheese, bacon, spinach, and avocado.


Tahini Rémoulade:

  • 1 bunch chopped dill
  • 1 cup tahini paste
  • 1/2 grated cucumber
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup minced pickles
  • 1/4 cup chopped capers
  • 1/4 cup diced pepperoncini
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 to 5 minced garlic cloves

Pomegranate Ketchup:

  • 14 ounces canned whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses 

Banana Pepper Curried Mustard:

  • 6 ounces jarred yellow banana peppers, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • Salt 

Balsamic Onions:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 pounds mixed portobello, shiitake, and cremini mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound ground beef short rib
  • 1/4 pound ground lamb fat
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated onion
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 ounces red wine

To serve:

  • 8 ounces spinach
  • 8 slices pepper bacon
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 sliced avocado 
  • 4 ciabatta buns
  • 2 tablespoons fig jam 


Make the tahini rémoulade: in a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Let chill for 12 hours.

Make the pomegranate ketchup: purée the whole tomatoes in a blender. In a medium pot over low heat, sauté the onions and garlic in oil until they’re golden, about 25 minutes. Add the puréed tomatoes, tomato paste, paprika, allspice, cinnamon, and salt. Cook for a few minutes, then add the vinegar and sugar. Cook uncovered on low heat until the sauce thickens. Cool, season to taste with salt and pepper, and add the pomegranate molasses. Set aside.

Make the banana pepper curried mustard: place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the sauce is too thick. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Set aside.

Make the balsamic onions: in a large sauté pan, cook the sliced yellow onions and balsamic vinegar on low heat for 30 to 45 minutes until the onions are caramelized and the vinegar is syrupy.

Prepare the burgers: in large pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the chopped mushrooms a little bit at a time to avoid crowding the pan. Once they are sautéed, about 15 minutes, add the red wine to deglaze. Cook until very little wine is left, about 5 minutes. Set side to cool. Using a food processor, purée the cooled mushrooms into a paste. 

In a large bowl, mix the ground chuck, ground short rib, and lamb fat just until they come together (do not over mix). Add the spices and cooled mushroom paste. Form into four 8-ounce patties. 

To grill the burgers, heat a lightly greased large cast-iron skillet over high heat until it’s about to smoke. Cook the burgers on one side for about 4 minutes, or until seared well. Reduce the temperature to medium and flip the burgers to sear on the other side for another 4 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the patties registers 155°F on a meat thermometer. Add the wine and let reduce until the burgers have absorbed all of the liquid.

To assemble the burgers: toast the ciabatta buns. Lightly glaze the bottom of each bun with 1/2 teaspoon of fig jam. Top with the pomegranate ketchup, banana pepper curried mustard, spinach, balsamic onions, and bacon. Place the cooked patty on top and add the tahini rémoulade, goat cheese, and avocado, then top with the other half of the bun.


4 burgers