La Dolce Vita Burgers with Balsamic Insalata, Gorgonzola, and Crispy Prosciutto

Pairs well with:


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

La Dolce Vita is Italian for the good life which is what you are living when you enjoy this exceptional burger! All the bright,bold flavors, and colorful ingredients of Italy are the inspiration for this burger. It is a feast for all the senses! Buon Apetito!


prosciutto crisps:
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
0.4 ounces dried portabella mushrooms
2 pounds ground beef chuck
5 ounces ground Italian pork sausage
1/2 cup grated sweet onion
2/3 cup chopped and drained oil and herb packed sundried tomatoes-reserve 3 tablespoons oil for rolls
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh garlic
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
vegetable oil to wipe on grill rack
6 ounces gorgonzola dolce, very thinly sliced
6 corn dusted kaiser rolls, split
1/2 cup finely grated parmigianno reggiano cheese (freshly grated with a fine microplane)
3 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1 cup very thinly sliced radicchio
6 teaspoons balsamic salad dressing
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
18 slices roma tomato


Heat a gas grill to medium high heat.

To make the prosciutto crisps, place olive oil in a large skillet and place on grill grate or on side burner over medium heat, if available. Place prosciutto slices in skillet and cook until crispy. Remove to paper towels to drain. Divide ingredients and prepare in batches, as necessary.

To make the patties, place Zinfandel in a small saucepan and place on grill rack or side burner over medium heat, if available. Bring wine to a simmer, stir in mushrooms and remove from heat. Let mushrooms sit for 20 minutes. Drain and finely chop mushrooms. In a large mixing bowl, place mushrooms, beef, sausage, onion, tomatoes, garlic, crushed red pepper, and salt together and mix gently, but thoroughly, with a spoon. Form the mixture into 6 patties, taking care not to compact meat.

Wipe the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook for 4 minutes, turn and cook additional 3-4 minutes or until done to medium. Place a portion of the cheese in a single layer on each patty during the last few minutes of cooking. Brush cut sides of rolls with reserved oil from tomatoes and place on grill rack to toast during last few minutes of cooking patties. Immediately after removing rolls from toasting, sprinkle cut side of each top and bottom evenly with Parmesan cheese, pressing lightly to adhere.

To assemble the burgers, top each roll bottom with a portion of romaine, radicchio, evenly drizzled balsamic dressing, a sprinkle of pepper, tomato slices, a cheese covered patty, prosciutto crisps, and roll tops. Serve with a glass of Sutter Home Zinfandel and enjoy!

Yield: 6 servings