Cotija-Covered Burgers with Roasted Rainbow Salsa

Pairs well with:


Reach for our Chardonnay when you’re in the mood for a rich and creamy wine that delights with the fruity flair of pear, apple, and peach.


Rainbow Salsa
3 large ears of corn
3 lime wedges
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, cored, halved, and seeded
½ small red onion, peeled
1 tablespoon Colavita extra-virgin olive oil
1 small jalapeno pepper
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Chili Mayonniase
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 cups mayonnaise
1 pound sirloin, trimmed and roughly cut into large cube
1 pound chuck, trimmed and roughly cut into large cubes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 focaccia bread squares, cut 4 inches x 4inches, sliced horizontally
2 ½ cups finely grated Cotija cheese
18 California avocado slices
Freshly squeezed lime juice for brushing on the avocado slices



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the salsa, remove the outer-most layers of husk from the corn, as well as any exposed silk at the tip. Then rinse corn in cold water, loosening but not removing remaining silk and inner husk. Place corn on hot grill and cook for 15 minutes, turning often. Remove all remaining husks and silks from cooked corn. Squeeze and rub one lime wedge over each ear of corn. Then cut the kernels off of the cobs. With a spoon, lightly toss kernels to separate, then set aside in large glass bowl. Brush cut-sides of prepared tomatoes and red onion with olive oil and place them cut-side down, along with the whole jalapeno pepper, onto the hot grill. Turn and cook tomatoes, onion and jalapeno for about 7-8 minutes. The tomatoes and jalapeno should be charred and blistered on all sides when done. The onion should be nicely browned all over. Remove all vegetables from the grill. When cool enough to handle, gently peel and remove skin from the tomatoes and jalapeno. Pat tomatoes dry with paper towel and finely dice. Add to corn. Remove and discard the stem and seeds from the jalapeno and place in a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Along with the jalapeno, add onion and process until finely chopped. Add mixture to corn and tomatoes. Mix in cilantro, cumin, and salt. Cover and refrigerate salsa until ready to use. To make chili mayonnaise, in large bowl combine chili powder and mayonnaise and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. To make patties, place half a pound each of sirloin and chuck in a food processor with one teaspoon kosher salt and chop until just coarsely ground and meat pieces are slightly larger than the size of peas. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat the same process with the remaining sirloin, chuck, and kosher salt. Then combine all meat into one large bowl. Using a ½-cup dry measuring cup, scoop and divide meat into 6 separate equal portions. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, form each portion into patties large enough to fit the focaccia buns. With your finger, make a small domed indentation, about halfway deep in the center of each formed patty. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place each patty, indentation-side up, onto the hot grill, cover and cook, turning once, just until done to preference. It should take approximately 3-5 minutes on each side for medium. When done, transfer all patties to a large platter and cover with aluminum foil to rest until ready to use. During this brief resting period, toast the cut sides of the foccacia by placing them directly on the hot grill rack for several minutes just until lightly golden. To assemble the burgers, place Cotija cheese in a shallow baking dish. Divide avocado slices out in an even layer on a plate and brush liberally with lime juice. Place desired amount of chili mayonnaise on the cut sides of the focaccia. Add a few heaping spoonfuls of rainbow salsa to both sides. Then carefully coat both sides of each moist patty with cheese before placing it over the bottom focaccia slice. Lay three avocado slices evenly across the top of each patty and squeeze additional fresh lime juice over entire patty. Carefully replace top focaccia slice and serve immediately.