Italian Cheese Stuffed Burgers with Olive Tapenade and Fresh Herb Mascarpone Cheese Spread

Pairs well with:


Get cozy and get pouring. Our Merlot is the wine for long weekends and lengthy chats.


2 tablespoons chopped jarred Greek Peppers, seeds removed (about 6 peppers)
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 pounds ground chuck
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Sutter Home Merlot
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Olive Tapenade:
2/3 cup manzanilla olives
2/3 cup calamata olives
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice from 1 lemon
Zest from half lemon
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Fresh Herb Mascarpone Cheese Spread:
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
2 teaspoons capers, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 thin slices proscuitto, halved widthwise
Vegetable Oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 Kaiser rolls, split
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons garlic powder


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.

For the patties, place the Greek peppers and mozzarella cheese into a medium bowl, mix well. Evenly divide into 6 portions, roll each portion into a ball; set aside. In a large bowl, place the ground chuck, garlic, Merlot, salt and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible, mix well. Divide meat mixture into 6 equal portions and form each into a patty around one of the reserved mozzarella cheese balls, making the burger slightly larger than the rolls, and flattening the cheese ball in the center of the patty. Place on a large plate, cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate until ready to grill.

To make the olive tapenade, place in the bowl of a food processor the manzanilla olives, calamata olives, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, anchovy paste, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Process on high until well blended, but not pureed. Cover and set aside until ready to use.

To make the cheese spread, place in a medium bowl the mascarpone cheese, capers, basil, Italian parsley and black pepper. Mix to fully combine; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat a large fire-proof skillet on the grill; add in the olive oil. Place the proscuitto into the skillet and cook on both sides until crisp, approximately 2 – 3 minutes per side; set aside.

Brush the grill rack with oil. Place patties on the rack, cover and cook for 4 – 5 minutes per side until desired doneness is reached. During the last few minutes of cooking, brush the cut side of the rolls with the melted butter, sprinkle with the garlic powder, then place rolls, cut side down, on the outer edge of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, evenly spread the cheese spread over the cut sides of the roll tops. Evenly divide the olive tapenade onto the cut sides of the roll bottoms, top with a patty, top with two slices of the proscuitto. Add the roll tops and enjoy!!