Lemon-Scented “Salmon-icious” Burgers

Accolades 2012 Finalists
Serves Makes 6 burgers
Pairs well with:

White Zinfandel

With strawberry and melon essences, this American original is perfectly at home with however you like to unwind.

We sit on our backyard porch and savor these burgers that are so light and delicate-tasting, they will leave you wanting more. The flavors just explode in your mouth.


6 slices smoked bacon
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon organic honey

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) Irish butter, softened
2 teaspoons minced garlic

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) Irish butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon mild New Mexico red chile powder

2 slices fresh white bread
2 pounds fresh salmon fillet
1 1/2 egg whites
2 teaspoons smoked sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
3 medium lemons, halved
Truffle oil spray
6 slices fresh mozzarella cheese 
6 challah buns, split
6 (1/4-inch-thick) slices large heirloom tomato
6 red-leaf lettuce leaves


Heat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the spread, cook the bacon in a cast-iron skillet on the grill until crisp. Set aside to drain on paper towels. Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, dill, and chives in a food processor and puree to a smooth consistency. Remove to a bowl. Stir in the lemon zest and juice and the honey. Crumble the bacon and stir into the mixture. Cover and refrigerate until assembling the burgers.

To make the garlic butter, combine the butter and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth. Remove to a small bowl and set aside until grilling the buns.

To make the glaze, combine the butter and chile powder in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Set aside until grilling the buns.

To make the patties, discard the side crusts from the bread. Tear the trimmed bread into pieces, place in a food processor, and pulse to a fine consistency. Remove to a large bowl. Coarsely chop the salmon and transfer to the food processor. Pulse several times to achieve a rough consistency. Add to the bread crumbs. Stir in the egg whites, salt, dill, thyme, and mustard and mix gently. Form into 6 equal 3/4-inch-thick patties to fit the buns. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil, Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, 3 to 5 minutes per side. During the last 30 seconds of cooking time, squeeze half a lemon over each patty and sparingly spray with truffle oil. Place a cheese slice on each patty, cover, and cook just until the cheese begins to melt. Remove the patties to a plate, cover with foil, and keep warm.

Spread equal amounts of the garlic butter on the cut sides of the buns. Place the buns, cut side down, around the edge of the grill to toast lightly. Remove and immediately brush the outsides of the tops with the glaze.

To assemble the burgers, spread equal amounts of the spread on each bun bottom. Top with a patty, tomato slice, lettuce leaf, and the bun top.