California Blue Cheese Chive Burgers with Applewood Bacon and Apple-Avocado Salsa

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

California flavors inspired this delicious burger: real California cheeses, avocados and pistachios. Paired with a delicious California wine like a Sutter Home Gewurztraminer it becomes a true West Coast treat. You can take BBB out of California but you can’t take California out of this tasty burger.


12 slices Applewood Smoked Bacon

California Blue Cheese Chive Dressing:

3/4 cup crumbled Real California blue cheese

3/4 cup Real California crème fraiche

2 tablespoons freshly grated Real California Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Apple-Avocado Salsa:

1 Avocado, small diced

1/2 English cucumber, peeled, small diced

1 green apple, peeled, small diced

1/4 cup coarsely chopped unsalted pistachio nuts

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon Colavita extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


2 teaspoons fresh thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

2 1/2 pounds freshly ground beef chuck

Vegetable oil to brush the grill

6 Sesame seed topped bulkie rolls (I recommend Whole Foods Bakery rolls), split

6 Romaine lettuce leaves, coarsely chopped


Preheat a gas grill to medium high heat.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with Reynolds Wrap. Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on the baking sheet. Place the sheet on the hot grill rack and cook the bacon in a closed grill, turning as needed, until crispy and browned. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.

To prepare the California Blue Cheese Chive Dressing combine the blue cheese, crème fraiche, Parmesan cheese, chives, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl; stir to combine. Cover until ready to use.

In another medium bowl combine the diced avocado, cucumber and apples. Stir in the pistachio nuts, lemon juice, chives and salt. Cover the salsa until ready to use.

To prepare the patties, whisk together the thyme, chili powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and salt in a small bowl. Break the ground beef apart into a large bowl. Sprinkle the thyme mixture over the beef and using a wooden spoon, stir gently to combine. Form the meat into 6 equal sized patties.

Lightly brush the grill rack with oil then arrange the patties on the grill. Cook 4 minutes per side for medium rare or continue cooking until desired doneness. During the last 2 minutes of grilling, arrange the rolls split side down on the grill to lightly toast.

To assemble the burgers, spread the Blue cheese chive dressing on the bottom half of each roll, evenly dividing. Top each with the Romaine lettuce followed by 2 slices of bacon. Arrange the patties on top of the bacon then spoon a generous portion of the salsa over each patty. Top with the remaining roll halves and serve immediately.

Yield: 6 juicy, creamy, savory and sweet burgers.