Bleu Burgers with Basil Chiffonade and Crimson Salsa

Pairs well with:


Hard to pronounce yet easy to drink, this wine combines lychee fruit and white peach flavors with a hint of spice.


1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup pitted, oil-cured black olives
2/3 cup chopped sweet yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, stemmed and cut into quarters
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
1/2 pound ground lamb
1/2 cup pitted oil-cured olives, chopped fine
1/2 cup grated sweet yellow onion
1 tablespoon dried garlic flakes
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 ounces Pt Reyes Blue Cheese, 1/2-inch slices
6 bun-size ciabatta rolls
2 cups basil leaves, loosely packed



Place the cranberries, olives, chopped onion, chopped garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, olive oil, salt and sugar in a food processor and process until ingredients are coarsely ground. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, cover and set aside.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the patties, combine the sirloin, lamb, fine-chopped olives, grated onion, garlic flakes, salt and pepper in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size. Set on a platter and loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Carefully place the cheese on the patties during the last 4 minutes of grilling. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

While the meat is grilling, chiffonade the basil and place in a medium bowl.

To assemble the burgers, place a generous amount of the salsa on the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place one-sixth of the chiffonade basil and a patty. Add the roll tops and serve.