Cal-Ital Burger

Pairs well with:


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


2lb ground chuck (80/20)
2T olive oil
2 t salt
2 t pepper
4 large cloves roasted garlic, smashed
Pesto Mayonnaise:
1 C fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonades
4 T pine nuts
2 large cloves of roasted garlic
2 egg yolks
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper
Scant 1 C olive oil
Bruschetta topping:
2 C diced (1/4″) heirloom or other good quality tomatoes
2T chopped capers
2T basil leaves, cut into chiffonades
½ t salt
½ t pepper
Arugula Salad:
2 ½ C baby arugula greens
1 T lemon olive oil
¼ t salt
Additional Ingredients:
Pre-purchased balsamic glaze, about 8 T (or make your own by reducing 1 C balsamic vinegar in a small grill-proof saucepan over medium heat on a grill until it has thickened and is syrupy)

Black Olive Focaccia Bread, twelve 4″ square pieces
Fresh Mozzarella slices, six 1/4″ thick pieces
Canola oil or non stick grill spray


Burgers:Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until thoroughly blended. Shape into 6 equal patties. Make a depression in the center of each burger (shape them like a bi-concave disk), in order to avoid cooked burgers that are shaped like balls. Keep patties refrigerated until ready to grill.
Pesto Mayonnaise:To a blender or bowl of a small food processor, add the basil, pine nuts, garlic and egg yolks and blend/process until well mixed. Add salt & pepper and pulse again. While appliance is running, slowly drizzle olive oil into mixture and process until emulsified. Set aside in a refrigerated place.
Bruschetta topping:Mix diced tomatoes, capers, & basil in a small non-reactive bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt & pepper. Set aside.
Arugula Salad:Place arugula in a medium bowl. Just before assembling burgers, add lemon oil and salt and toss until well blended.
Heat grill to medium high heat (or until you can hold your hand 4″ above the grate for only 3-4 seconds). Wipe grates with canola or nonstick grill spray. Grill burgers for 2 minutes with the lid closed. Flip burgers over and brush tops with balsamic glaze. Cook for one more minute with lid open. Flip again and brush tops with glaze. Top with mozzarella slices. Cook for one more minute and check for doneness. Burger should be medium rare at this time. Remove from grill and allow to rest. Turn grill down to low. Lightly brush focaccia with olive oil. Warm/lightly toast focaccia on the grill about 20 second per side.

Spread each focaccia slice with about 1T of the pesto mayonnaise. Top with a burger. Top burger with about 2T of the bruschetta topping. Drizzle tomatoes with 1-2 t of the balsamic glaze. Top with about 2T of arugula salad and remaining piece of focaccia (with mayo).
Makes 6 burgers.