Homemade Sausage with Broccoli Rabe Patty Melts

I then flew back home and since there was beautiful broccoli rabe at the market I made John our Homemade Sausage with Broccoli Rabe Patty Melts with lots of rabe, just a ton of rabe going through it. We go heavy on broccoli rabe and also the giardiniera relish. Delicious and tasty burger.

You can make the sausage with nice lean ground turkey breast or ground chicken. Ground lamb would be delicious with the broccoli rabe. You can make the patties out of any ground meat you like.


  • 1/2 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 small fresh chile, seeded and finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or Italian ground red chile
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated or pasted
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely grated onion (with its juice)
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/3 cup grated pecorino-Romano cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • EVOO, for liberal drizzling
  • 8 slices hand-cut white bread, no more than 1/2-inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup giardiniera (Italian hot pickled vegetables), finely chopped
  • 8 deli slices provolone cheese


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt the water, add the broccoli rabe, and cook for 5 minutes; drain and cool. Finely chop and set aside.

Place the ground pork in a bowl and add the fennel seeds, chile, garlic, onion, paprika, cheese, salt and pepper, the chopped rabe, and a healthy drizzle of EVOO (2 turns of the bowl). Mix and form 4 large, thin patties about 1/2 inch thick.

Heat a griddle or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Cook the patties for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping once, or until the juices run clear. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium. Wipe the pan clean. Brush the bread on one side with the melted butter. Build the patty melts: On a work surface, place a slice of bread, buttered side down. Top with some giardiniera, 1 slice of cheese, a sausage patty, another slice of cheese, and top with another slice of bread buttered-side up. Grill the patty melts until deeply golden on both sides and the cheese has melted. Cut the patty melts corner-to-corner and serve.

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