Make this Italian Sandwich made from spinach-grilled hamburgers and these four organic herbs.











Four herbs to use for an Italian sandwich

You’ll need the following four fresh herbs (a list I’ve described by their flavors) for this Italian-style open-faced sandwich.

  • basil – has a sweet peppery, minty flavor
  • cilantro – has a flavor similar to celery and mint mixed
  • fennel – tastes like black licorice
  • rosemary – a sweet minty flavor

Nutritional Values and Uses for Basil

Basil is a good source of Vitamins A, C, K, iron, and calcium. Did you know that basil can be used as a body deodorizer and in a bath as a calming effect along with Himalayan Pink or Epsom Salt? Of course, this herb tastes excellent in Mediterranean and Italian dishes.

Cilantro, Great for Salsa 

Cilantro can be grown just for the leaves or left to grow taller until it results in seeds, called coriander. Cilantro is best known for making salsa so flavorful. This herb is a good source in fiber, vitamins, and minerals and provides health benefits

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Shop for herbs at your local farmers market

While at a local farmers’ market shopping trip in the spring, I was standing at a table (after I had already done my shopping) and kept smelling a wonderful aroma. I recognized it, but it took me a minute to figure out what it was. Glancing at the table of herbs, vegetables, and fruit in front of me, I saw it. Cilantro – $1. Unable to resist it, I picked one bunch of it up and dug in my handbag for the last cash I had with me – $1. I inhaled its aroma and couldn’t wait to get it home and put it in a salsa recipe. It’s a good thing cilantro doesn’t weight much because my shopping bag on rollers was already crammed full.

Is fennel an herb, or is it a vegetable?

What are the benefits to adding fennel to your recipes? Explore more about this green feathery perennial, and try out this recipe.

Fennel Benefits:

Fennel is from the carrot family and is somewhat like celery but with a licorice-like flavor. It is known as a root vegetable but also is

Fennel is from the carrot family and is somewhat like celery but with a licorice-like flavor. It is known as a root vegetable but also is an herb and is high in Vitamin C and fiber. It’s good for bone strength, can help skin health and can help lower blood pressure.

Rosemary, Amazing Bread-Dipping Ingredient

Cooking with Herbs

Rosemary, like the other herbs used in Italian Grilled Hamburger Pasta, is a good source of vitamins and minerals and includes health benefits as well. It’s a wonderful culinary ingredient used in Mediterranean-flavored dishes, such as rosemary and balsamic oil for dipping bread in.

I love to go to farmers’ markets and shop for organic fruits, herbs, and vegetables. Something about those delicate looking feathery herbs, like fennel and cilantro, intrigue me.

First of all, it could be because I’ve grown my own kitchen garden and enjoy using the fresh herbs in my recipes.

Secondly, I’m fascinated with how nutritious herbs are, and I love the multiple uses for them. And to think that there are so many of them is mindboggling. For instance, look at this list (very small compared to the number of all the herbs there must be):


  1. fennel
  2. cilantro
  3. rosemary
  4. lavender
  5. lemon balm
  6. lovage
  7. mint
  8. stevia
  9. marjoram
  10. thyme
  11. basil
  12. yarrow

I’ll stop at those twelve herbs, most of which I’ve cooked or made hot tea with. I can’t say I’ve been successful growing all of these. One I haven’t planted before is yarrow. Yarrow is pretty, easy to care for, used in salves and teas to help with allergies and skin rashes and itching. Learn more on how to make herbal salves, teas, and more from the book The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies. You can purchase organic yarrow herb in bulk.

Yarrow grows in zones 3 through 9. My friend and avid gardener, Karen, grows it in her flower garden. Her yarrow comes back every year looking bright, huge, and gorgeous.

Have you ever used lovage? It tastes like celery. No need to use salt. Add lovage to your recipes instead.

I even tried growing stevia. It made it for awhile then gave up.

Try the Italian Spinach-Grilled Hamburger Chili and sandwich for two, and enjoy the flavor of added organic fresh herbs. Use leftover spinach-grilled barbecued hamburgers flavored with applewood seasoning.

Italian food, sandwiches
Grilled Hamburger Pasta Sandwiches








Italian Spinach-Grilled Hamburger Chili & Open-Faced Sandwiches for Two

Enjoy this herb-vegetable rich Italian grilled hamburger open-faced sandwich recipe.


  • 1 can Del Monte Four Cheese Pasta Sauce
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon Organic Coconut Oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup natural steak liquid/gravy
  • 2 each fennel leaves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 large basil leaves
  • 1 red potato, diced
  • 3 each BBQ grilled hamburger patties
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach for the grilled hamburgers
  • barbecue sauce for basting the grilled hamburgers
  • 4 teaspoons applewood seasoning seasoning for the grilled hamburgers


  1. Saute herbs and vegetables in Coconut oil and butter on an electric griddle.

  2. Crumble grilled hamburger patties into small to medium chunks, and heat up with herbs and vegetables on griddle.

  3. When hamburger, herbs, and vegetables are done, put them into a slow cooker.

  4. Add pasta sauce and leftover steak gravy to the mixture in the slow cooker, and stir well.

  5. If you do not have the steak gravy, add 1/2 cup water to the mixture.

  6. All the herbs, vegetables, and hamburger were heated up/cooked on the griddle and only have to be cooked a short time in the slow cooker.

  7. Cook it on low for two hours if you're not in a hurry for dinner, or cook it on high for 30 minutes to one hour if you want dinner sooner.

  8. If you're in a big hurry to eat, heat up a bowl of the Italian pasta in the microwave.

  9. Toast bread, and pour the Italian meat pasta over the bread, and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

This recipe is two in one. The grilled hamburgers are first seasoned with the applewood seasoning. Chopped spinach is then mixed in with the seasoned hamburger. Baste the hamburgers with barbecue sauce when grilling. Use the leftover crumbled hamburgers in the Italian Spinach-Grilled Hamburger Chili.

Grilled hamburgers can be saved for delicious leftover recipes like the open-faced sandwiches (which tasted REALLY good!). How about using them, crumbled in chunks similar to meatballs, for pizza? Actually, this recipe reminded me of a pasta with meatballs. Or, have a grilled hamburger/meatball Po-Boy.

I’ve made grilled hamburger leftovers for breakfast recipes (YUM). Of course, leftover grilled hamburgers taste great heated up on a hamburger bun or with no bread at all. Great protein, by the way.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and would love it if you come back for another visit soon!

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