Fresh Mozzarella Burgers with Basil-Infused Olive Oil on Garlic French Bread

Pairs well with:


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


(Note: ingredients used more than once in the recipe are denoted with a * to avoid double-counting the number of ingredients)
Garlic French Bread
1) 1 ½ loaves of freshly baked french bread (not the flat baguette style)
2) 1 stick of softened butter
3) 1/2 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4) 2 teaspoons coarse-ground garlic salt with parsley
Aluminum foil for wrapping bread
Basil-Infused Olive Oil with Tomato Relish
5) 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and stems removed
* 7 tablespoons of Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6) 7 teaspoons Colavita Balsamic Vinegar
7) 5 small, ripe hot-house tomatoes, diced Cheese Burgers
8) 1 cup fresh parsley tops, washed and stems removed, roughly chopped
9) 1 purple shallot, ends and outer covering removed, roughly chopped
10) 3 tablespoons oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
11) 3 oil-packed anchovy filets, drained
12) 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
13) 1 tablespoon dried sweet basil
* 2 tablespoons Colavita Balsamic Vinegar
* 3 teaspoons coarse ground garlic salt with parsley
14) ½ lb. sweet Italian sausage, uncooked, outer casings removed 15) 1 ½ lbs. ground round 85% lean/15% fat
* Cooking oil for the grill (not counted as an ingredient)
* Three tablespoons balsamic vinegar/Worcestershire mixture to brush on burger patties while cooking
16) 2 rounds of fresh soft mozzarella cheese, each round cut into 6 slices
* 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and stems removed



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat. To make the Garlic French Bread, cut the ends off French bread loaves and cut in half lengthwise. Cut into 6 crosswise sandwich sections. Open the sandwiches, scooping out approximately ½ inch of interior bread from each top and bottom section, making a hollow inside each section. (Reserve the bread crumbs for a different recipe if desired). Combine butter, olive oil and garlic salt in a bowl. Spread the interiors of all bread tops and bottoms generously with the butter, olive oil and garlic salt mixture. Wrap each top and bottom together tightly in aluminum foil and refrigerate until ready to use. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before use to bring to room temperature. To make the Basil-Infused Olive Oil with Tomato Relish, combine fresh basil leaves and olive oil in a food processor. Pulse until leaves are chopped. Pour mixture through a strainer into a bowl, pressing on basil leaves to release their essence, then discard the leaves. Stir balsamic vinegar into bowl, add diced ripe tomatoes and stir. Refrigerate until ready to use. To make the Cheeseburgers, combine parsley tops, shallot, sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, Worcestershire, dried basil, balsamic vinegar, and coarse-ground garlic salt in food processor until finely chopped. Put mixture into a large bowl. Add Italian sausage and ground round. Mix all ingredients gently until blended, avoiding over-mixing. Divide meat mixture evenly and form into 6 patties, using care to loosely pack the patties. Brush grill rack with cooking oil. Place patties on preheated, medium-heat grill and lightly brush tops of patties with balsamic vinegar/Worcestershire mixture. Cook for 4 minutes, covered, then turn patties over and brush again with balsamic vinegar/Worcestershire. Cook 5-6 minutes longer or until done to medium. Remove patties from grill and immediately cover entire patty tops with fresh mozzarella cheese slices. During the first minute of grilling the patties, put foil-wrapped packages of garlic bread around the outer edges of grill rack. Turn over after 4 minutes. Remove foil packages from grill when patties are removed. To assemble each burger, place a cheese-topped patty on bread bottom. Press several fresh basil leaves on top of the cheese, and generously drizzle basil-infused olive oil with tomato relish over the top and sides of the burger. Add the sandwich top. Makes 6 burgers.