All across America, the classic barbecue burger is getting downsized and styled up.  Nouveau, nibble-friendly sliders feature artisan cheeses, chef-inspired sauces and a variety of meats—from pulled pork to Kobe beef to ground bison and lamb, or a mix thereof! The new buns on the block are often fresh baked or tailored to the recipe, or petite Rosemary or Chibatta rolls. A separate tray with sliders adorned with simple slices of cheddar and ketchup will make these minis a hit with the kiddies!

Aioli and Roasted Pepper Spread

• 2 red bell peppers

• 1 tbsp. olive oil

• Grind of salt and pepper

• ¼ cup ketchup

• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

• 2 garlic cloves

• 4 large basil leaves

• Grind of salt and pepper 

Pre-broil oven at 500º F. Cover one cookie sheet with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil.


Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and quarter them lengthwise.  Discard all the seeds.  Lay the bell pepper slices flesh side up on the cookie sheet and brush the flesh with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Turn them over so the skin side is up. Brush skin with olive oil. Broil in the oven (skin side up) for about 5-10 minutes.  Watch the peppers closely.  The skin will boil.  The peppers are done when the skin has completely turned black.

Remove peppers from cookie sheet and place in single layer (skin side up) on a dish; freeze the dish for about 15 minutes.  (This makes the peeling process much easier.) Then peel and discard skin.

In a small food processor, combine roasted red bell peppers, ketchup and balsamic vinegar. Add two cloves garlic. Tear basil leaves apart into small bits and add to mixture. Pulse until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set spread aside.

Source: Rustic Garden Bistro

Mozzarella Sliders with Aioli and Roasted Red Pepper Spread



For the Sliders

• 3 tablespoon aioli

• 4 oz. ground beef chuck

• 4 oz. ground beef sirloin

• ½ teaspoon kosher salt

• 3 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 

    into 6 thin pieces

• 2 small heirloom tomatoes

• 6 slider buns



Using your hands, combine ground beef chuck, ground beef sirloin and kosher salt in a small bowl. Divide into six uniform patties, shaping them thinner in the center and thicker along the edges (so when the meat “poofs” on the grill, you won’t have a huge dome of a patty). Set patties on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to grill.

Slice fresh mozzarella cheese and set aside. Slice two small heirloom tomatoes and set aside. Wash and dry lettuce leaves and set aside.

Over medium heat, grill meat patties to your liking.  Add mozzarella cheese on top to melt thoroughly. Place buns (cut-side down) on grill to warm.

Assemble each slider: On bottom bun, smear on ½ tablespoon roasted red pepper spread.  Add meat patty with mozzarella cheese.  Add slice of tomato.  Add green lettuce.  Smear on ½ tablespoon aioli on top bun.  Close and serve immediately.

Source: Rustic Garden Bistro

Photos by Ken Amorosano