Honey Habanero Aioli Burgers with Pickled Onions

May 26, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

First off, if you're going to make a meal made almost entirely out of meat, for heaven's sake please use the best meat you can find. I like a nice and simple burger with lots of flavorful toppings. This aioli packs a flavorful punch and the pickled onions compliment the burger perfectly. Top with some crunchy iceberg lettuce and slap in on a freshly baked bun and you've got a summer BBQ! - Katie Platzbecker —Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a wonderful aioli full of great flavor. The honey tames the habanero and garlic, then the lime juice and zest brightens things up again. I opted for the whisk and bowl method for no other reason than that I had the time, but the recipe is super easy to follow. Wasn’t sure when to add the habanero so I tossed it in at the beginning. The pickled onions really finish the burger off perfectly -- what a nice touch. We loved it! - Helen's All Night Dinner —Helen's All Night Diner

What You'll Need
  • For the Habanero Aioli:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 large egg yolks (room temp)
  • 1 handful of cilantro (remove stems)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 lime (juice)
  • 1/2 lime (zest)
  • 1 habanero
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • sea salt
  • For the Pickled Onions and Burgers
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 large white or red onion (sliced into thin strips)
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 pound grass-fed free range ground beef
  • 4 fresh burger rolls (any kind you like)
  • iceberg lettuce
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cheddar or Swiss cheese (optional)
  1. For the Habanero Aioli:
  2. Turn on your broiler. Place habanero under broiler on a baking sheet until skin chars up (4-5 minutes). Remove, put in a paper bag or cover in a kitchen towel and let cool. Once cooled, remove the skin and seeds from the pepper. Wash your hands, or your eyes will be burning later!
  3. You can make this by hand or by using a food processor. I opt for my food processor. In the food processor, pulse together garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, cilantro, habanero, lime juice and zest. Add the egg yolks and pulse a few times so the mixture combines. Make sure your eggs are room temperature or it will be harder for them to bind to the oil.
  4. Whisk together the vegetable oil and olive oil in a separate bowl. With the food processor running, very slowly stream in the oil. When all of it is added, it should look like mayonnaise! Give it a little taste, and add some salt as necessary. Put it in the fridge until ready to assemble burgers.
  1. For the Pickled Onions and Burgers
  2. Make the onions a day or 2 ahead of time. I let them marinade in the juice for 48 hours to really soak up all the flavor.
  3. In a small sauce pan, bring vinegar, water, salt, sugar, lime juice and peppercorns to a boil. Pour the liquid over the onions in a small mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate up to 48 hours before serving.
  4. Season your beef with some salt and pepper. That's it. Keep it simple. If your beef is high quality, let it shine. Mix it up a little bit with your hands, just enough to incorporate the salt and pepper into the meat.
  5. Heat your grill pan over medium-high to high heat. Break up the pound of beef into 4 equal parts and pat into 1/2 inch round patties.
  6. Throw the burgers on the grill, and cook for about 3 minutes on both sides (for medium doneness). Adjust time for desired doneness. If adding cheese, add for the last 2 minutes of cooking.
  7. Place burger on bun and top with some of that delicious spicy ailoi, pickled onions and iceberg lettuce.

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    Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast
  • BlueKaleRoad

2 Reviews

Brussels S. July 25, 2011
Thanks, Hannah! I bet it would be amazing with grilled fish!
BlueKaleRoad July 24, 2011
I love your habanero aioli! I am going to try it with grilled fish.