Red Onion-Tomato-Ginger Jam Hamburgers with Fresh Basil

With 30 pounds of organically raised, grass-fed Angus ground beef in the freezer, um... we prepare it for dinner nearly once a week.
Since I had made some 50% whole wheat sandwich buns over the weekend I wanted to experiment with a couple of different condiments to go with the hamburgers we grilled.

It's the season for home grown tomatoes, the new crop of garlic, lots of fresh basil, and wonderful red onions so I decided to make two condiments (which happen to go very well together on grilled burgers.)
Since I'm sure (if you eat burgers) you already know how to shape and grill them... so I thought I'd share these very simple ways to dress them up.
First I made a simple Red Onion-Tomato & Ginger Jam,
then a Roasted Garlic Aioli, and served the burgers with fresh, tender leaves of fresh basil. I had thought of whirring the basil leaves into the aioli, but decided against it at the last moment to retain that appetizing emerald green color.

No recipe is really needed for the Red Onion-Tomato & Ginger Jam ~ you can just "wing" this one without much effort.
I used one medium-size red onion to about 4 to 5 smallish-medium size tomatoes.
Here are the ingredients, and the way I made mine:

Red Onion, peeled of outer skin, then sliced or chopped.
I like red onion here as it is milder than yellow or white, and just mildly sweet.
Ripe tomatoes, chopped
(although you could substitute good quality canned if it is not tomato season)
Slices of Crystallized Ginger, finely chopped.
(Alternately, a few slices of fresh ginger and some sweetener to achieve some sweetness)
A bit of good olive oil
Water as needed to keep the sauce moist as it cooks
Sea salt and/or a pinch of sweetener, optional

Special equipment?
A food mill, or sieve with a wooden spoon or pestle (to eliminate seeds, skin and to smooth the jam at end of cooking.)
How to do it:
Heat the oil in a pan over low heat; when oil is very warm add the onion and allow to slowly become translucent and begin to caramelize (this can take from 15 to 45 minutes depending upon your pan, and your stove top.)
Add the chopped tomatoes and ginger, stir. Cover pan with lid askew so steam can escape, cook over low heat for 45 minutes, up to two hours adding water as the liquid evaporates, check it and stir occasionally to assure it is not scorching or sticking.
At the end of cooking time the onion, tomato and ginger should be very tender and melding into each other.
Remove pan from heat, allow contents to cool slightly and run through the medium-fine of a food-mill, or press the mixture through by hand using a medium-fine sieve/strainer and the back of a wooden spoon or pestle. This step is necessary to refine the texture; to remove the tomato skins and any bits of tough onion bits.
A food processor just won't produce good results for this step.
Taste for seasonings, add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired.
Note: If the tomatoes and onions are sweet you won't need to add anything to improve the flavor, just taste it to decide.

Most likely you have a favorite recipe for Roasted Garlic Aioli ~ I just slowly roast the garlic, drizzled with olive oil in a wrap of aluminum foil in the oven until very tender, squeeze the flesh from each clove--as little or as much as you like, then stir it into mayonnaise (homemade, or fine quality store bought... (such as Best Foods TM)

Finally, add freshly plucked basil leaves as desired, and ENJOY!

Thank you for stopping by today! I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.


  1. Hi Mari Sweetie...
    Boy do I miss the fresh beef. I never had to buy in the store until we moved out here to Phoenix, and let me tell you, it does not taste even close to the fresh.

    This recipe sounds heavenly. You know me and your experiments. They end up on my table. BEEF: That's what's for DINNER.

    Thanks for the tip sweetie. Have a beautiful evening. Many hugs and much love, Sherry

  2. YUM :) That is great you made your own buns too! I love whole wheat buns with my hamburger, it adds something to it I think.

  3. Do you know how to clean drool off of a keyboard? BTW every time I see your little penguins on the sidebar I grin. I have made them before and everyone always gets such a kick out of them.

  4. I just finished eating dinner, but boy would I love one of these. Yummy!

  5. That's one scrumptious burger, Mari. I love a good hamburger, especially when the condiments are so delicious. I've just discovered tomato jam and can't wait to try your version.

  6. This brings hamburgers to a whole new level Mari!

  7. MMMmmmmmmmmm...we grilled burgers last night too...but they were not as gorgeous as yours...I gotta try that jam! Wahoo!

  8. Your pictures make me hungry and it's almost midnight here...;)!

  9. That is one good-lookin' hamburger! The tomato jam sounds really good!


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


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