Italian Wedding Burgers with Sautéed Kale and Spinach and Olive Mayonnaise

Pairs well with:


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


Olive Mayonnaise:
1/3 cup kalamata olives
1/3 cup Spanish olives
1 1/4 cups Hellman’s or Kraft Real Mayonnaise Made with Olive Oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 pound Johnsonville All Natural Ground Mild Italian sausage
Sautéed greens:
4 ounces Pancetta, finely diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup Sutter Home Chardonnay
3 cups tightly packed kale, ribs removed and coarsely chopped
3 cups tightly packed baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
6 slices fresh mozzarella at room temperature for easier melting (slices need to be big enough to almost cover patty-use 2 slices each if they are small)
6 large ciabatta buns, split
3 tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil, for brushing buns
6 large slices tomato


Place both kinds of olives in a food processor and process until finely chopped, but not pureed. Place the mayonnaise in a medium mixing bowl and add the olives; stir together to combine. Refrigerate until needed, but let come to room temperature before using.

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

To make the patties, combine the first 9 patty ingredients in a large bowl. Add the ground chuck and sausage and mix well handling the meat as little as possible. Form 6 equal portions and shape the portions into patties the same size as buns. Refrigerate until needed.

Place a large fire-proof skillet on the grill over direct heat until hot. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp and done. Add the 2 cloves minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up the bits from the bottom. Cook for about 3 minutes or until mixture reduces and thickens slightly. Add the kale and spinach and the 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the red pepper flakes and cook for 3-4 minutes or until wilted but still vibrant green, stirring often. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place patties on grill rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, about 5-7 minutes on each side for medium. Place a slice of mozzarella on each patty during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Brush the cut sides of the buns with the olive oil. Place the bun halves on the outer edges of the grill rack and toast cut sides. To assemble, spread the cut sides of the buns with the olive mayonnaise. Place a spoonful of the greens on the bottom half of the bun, using a slotted spoon to drain excess liquid. Place a patty on the greens, then a tomato slice, then the bun top. 6 burgers.