Fire up the barbeque for this locally inspired Fourth of July celebration using classic summer favorites all grown and produced here and near to Middleburg. 

One taste of this locally grown Blackwater Beef and you will be reminded of how beef used to taste. So full of flavor and juicy with just the right amount of fat. You can find Blackwater Beef at the Middleburg Farmers Market or order online from their website below.  At $6 a pound, or $2 a burger, it’s a summer habit I’m keeping.  These add ons push it over the top – Fig Chutney from Virginia Chutney, and Fresh Goat Cheese from Georges Mill Cheese, all on a soft roll from The Upper Crust Bakery, pure local heaven. 

Burgers with Port, Fig Chutney and Goat Cheese

Makes 6 burgers

2 pounds blackwater ground beef

3 tablespoons Ruby Port

3 tablespoon Fig Chutney

6 ounces fresh goat cheese

6 soft rolls

salt and pepper to taste

Garden lettuce and tomato slices to serve

Divide each pound of beef into 3 patties, being very careful not to over handle the beef

Salt and pepper the burgers

Heat the grill to medium high heat

Place the burger on the grill and grill the first side for about 3-4 minutes

Flip and pour about ½ a tablespoon of ruby port on each burger, then the goat cheese, then drizzle the chutney, cover the grill and cook until medium rare, and the goat cheese melts a bit, about  2-3 more minutes.  Let the burgers rest for about 5 minutes before serving

To serve – On a soft Upper Crust bun, start with a slab of tomato, the burger and top with garden lettuce, add more fig chutney if desired.

Fresh summer green beans from the Middleburg Farmers Market mix so well with the roasted peppers and onions.  I do have a shortcut secret for pearl onions, I discovered frozen pearl onions which are ready to go, no peeling required! They can be used straight from the freezer and tossed in with the red peppers for roasting.

Green Bean Salad with Roasted Red Peppers and Pearl Onions with Basil

Serves 6

1 pint green beans, washed and trimmed

2 red or yellow peppers cored and cut 1 ½” pieces

1 cup frozen pearl onion (or fresh which have been peeled)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 handful of basil, torn into bite size pieces

Dijon Vinaigrette – recipe below

In a large stock pot of salted boiling water add the green beans and simmer for about 4 minutes or until tender, drain and give a quick rinse of cold water to stop the cooking

Heat the oven to 375 degrees

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil

Toss the pearl onions and peppers with  olive oil on the baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes or until the vegetables are soft golden brown in places

Let them cool to room temperature

Toss with the green beans

Dress with Dijon Vinaigrette

Add the basil right before serving

This will make much more dressing than you will need, but this is the dressing I always have on hand – for this salad start with 2-3 tablespoons

Dijon Vinaigrette

¾ cup olive oil

¼ seasoned rice vinegar

1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard

Combine in a jar with a tight fitting lid

Store the leftover dressing in the refrigerator

This simple rich lemony custard is so silky smooth, you will be amazed how it firms up as it chills, it’s the magic that happens when heavy cream and lemon juice are combined. I found locally grown strawberries at Middleburg Farmers Market from C. Hess Orchard & Produce, so fragrant and sweet, the smell and taste of summer. 

Lemon Posset

Serves 8

1 quart heavy cream

1 cup granulated sugar

3 lemons – juice and zest

Strawberries, sliced

for serving

In a large saucepan combine the sugar and cream and bring to a low boil

Reduce the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly

Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and zest and stir well

Divide the posset among 8 ramekin cups and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours,  keep refrigerated until ready to serve 

Serve with sliced berries

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