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Bacon and Date Goat Cheese Burgers

Every bite of this burger is a rich and decadent combination of sweet and savory. If you can't find maple bacon in your local store, you can add 1-1/2 tablespoons maple syrup to the spinach-goat cheese mixture in the food processor and use regular bacon. —Sharon Michelle Anglin, Livingston, Montana
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Grill: 10 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2-3/4 cups fresh baby spinach, divided
  • 1 package (8 ounces) pistachios, shelled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1/2 to 1-1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package (5.3 ounces) fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 package (8 ounces) pitted dates, chopped
  • 6 brioche hamburger buns, split
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 pound maple-flavored bacon strips, cooked

Directions

  • Place 2 cups spinach, pistachios, lemon juice, garlic, pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse until chopped. Add goat cheese; process until blended. Continue processing while gradually adding oil in a steady stream to reach a spreadable consistency. Refrigerate until serving.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine beef and dates, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into six 1/2-in.-thick patties. Place burgers on an oiled grill rack or in a greased 15x10x1-in. pan. Grill, covered, over medium heat or broil 4-5 in. from heat until a thermometer reads 160°, 4-5 minutes per side. Grill buns, cut sides down, over medium heat until toasted.
  • Top bun bottoms with remaining spinach, burgers, red onion and bacon. Spread 4 teaspoons goat cheese mixture over cut side of each bun top; place on burger. Cover and refrigerate remaining goat cheese mixture; save for another use.
Nutrition Facts
1 burger: 804 calories, 45g fat (11g saturated fat), 118mg cholesterol, 788mg sodium, 67g carbohydrate (34g sugars, 9g fiber), 39g protein.

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