An American in Tuscany Burger

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


10 cloves whole garlic, peeled
1 large yellow onion, oriental slice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary, needles removed
2 1/4 pounds ground chuck
Italian sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (use zester grater – cheese will look like a pillow when grated)
6 sprigs rosemary, garnish
2 cups arugula
6 Ciabatta or Focaccia rolls (either works great)



Heat grill to medium heat to roast garlic and onion. Increase to medium-high for burgers.

In a small sauté pan over medium heat, pan roast the garlic and onion in 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil let roast 20 minutes uncovered; give the pan a stir every 3-4 minutes to prevent burning. During the last 5 minutes add the rosemary leaves. Place mixture into a bowl and mash into a paste, add small amount of olive oil mixture if too thick. It should be spreadable but not runny, (like the consistency of softened butter). Season paste with Italian sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

While garlic and onions are roasting, season beef with Italian sea salt and fresh ground pepper in a medium size bowl. Form your beef patties into 6 equal portions. Brush grill grate with olive oil before grilling. Grill over medium high heat 6-8 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. When you turn the burger over spread with roasted garlic and onion mixture over the surface of one side. Top with a nest of finely grated Parmigiano cheese. Cover grill and let the heat begin to melt cheese.

Brush rolls with extra-virgin olive oil and grill 1 minute cut side down to slightly toast.

To assemble: Place burger on toasted roll place a mound of arugula on top; finish with a drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and cover with toasted roll top. To secure use sprig of rosemary, remove the needles from the sprig leaving 1/4 from the top intact. Your sprigs must have thick branches or this will not work. You may substitute with long skewers.