Arlecchino Burgers (REVISED)

Pairs well with:


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

Arlecchino is Italian for Harlequin, the comedic servant character in the Italian Commedia dell’arte.While no joke, this burger is colorful, entertaining to the palate, and filled with Italian-leaning flavors. Try this burger and you will smile from ear to ear!


12 slices thick-cut bacon
2 ounces sage leaves
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Balsamic-Lemon Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons balsamic glaze
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Grilled Butternut Squash:
1 butternut squash, with neck approximately 3 ½ to 4 inches wide
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup

2 1/3 pounds 80/20 ground chuck
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Olive oil for greasing grill rack
6 ciabatta rolls, split
2 tablespoons pine nuts
6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled


1. Heat a gas grill to medium-high.

2. Place bacon into a large, non-stick, fire-proof skillet and place on grill. Cook until bacon is crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, keeping skillet on grill. Working in small batches, add sage leaves to skillet and fry in bacon grease until crisp, about 15 seconds. Transfer sage leaves to paper towels to drain, sprinkle with salt. Wrap bacon in foil to keep warm until ready to use.

3. For Balsamic-Lemon Mayonnaise, combine the mayonnaise, balsamic glaze, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

4. For Grilled Butternut Squash, cut six 1/2-inch disc slices from neck of butternut squash; reserve remaining amount of squash for another use. Trim skin from sides of squash discs. Brush both sides of squash discs with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place squash on grill and cook for 6 minutes. With a spatula, turn squash over, and cook an additional 6 minutes. Place squash in a single layer on a large plate. Using a fork, lightly smash squash without breaking into pieces. Drizzle each squash disc with 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup. Cover with foil to keep warm until ready to use.

5. For Patties, gently combine chuck, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl with hands until garlic and spices are mixed through. Form 6 patties in shape of rolls with hands.

6. Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover, and cook for 4 1/2 minutes. With a spatula, turn the patties over, and cook an additional 4 minutes. During the last few minutes of grilling, place rolls on outer edges of grill to lightly toast.

7. To assemble burgers, spread the Balsamic-Lemon Mayonnaise over the cut side of roll tops, and layer the Grilled Butternut Squash over the cut side of roll bottoms. Sprinkle each squash disc with 1 teaspoon pine nuts and 1 ounce goat cheese; layer each with patties, bacon, sage leaves, and roll tops.