Burgers de Provence with Sautéed Fennel and Lemon-Saffron Mayonnaise

Pairs well with:


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


2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
2 teaspoons culinary lavender buds
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 pounds ground lamb

Sautéed Fennel:
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 small fennel, stalks and leaves removed, bulbs thinly sliced
2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoon currants
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

Lemon-Saffron Mayonnaise:
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon saffron
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for brushing the grill grates
1 package (5.2 ounces) Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese, cut into 6 slices
3 tablespoons softened butter
6 large potato rolls
3 ounces baby arugula


Preheat gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover.

To make patties, in a large bowl combine olive oil, garlic, thyme, herbes de Provence, lavender buds, salt, pepper, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add lamb and mix with the seasonings, handling the meat as little as possible. Form into 6 patties that fit the size of the rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or place in cooler.

For fennel, heat olive oil in a grill-proof skillet. Add fennel, shallots, currants, salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fennel has softened. Add wine and tarragon; cook an addional 5 minutes, or until wine has evaporated. Cover pan with foil and keep warm.

To make the lemon-saffron mayonnaise, in a small bowl stir together lemon zest, lemon juice and saffron. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. Whisk in the honey, vanilla and mayonnaise. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or place in cooler.

When the grill is ready, brush the grate with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover and cook for 4-6 minutes per side, turning only once. Place a piece of Boursin cheese on each burger and allow to melt. Butter the rolls, and place them on the outer edges of the grill to toast for about 1 minute.

To assemble the burgers, spread the bottom of the rolls with mayonnaise and put arugula leaves on top of it. Add a burger, some warm fennel and the top of the roll.

Makes 6 burgers