Little Italy Burgers with Roasted Peppers and Basil Mayonnaise

Pairs well with:


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


1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
3 slices good quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
2 medium red bell peppers
1 Anaheim pepper
3 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1-1/2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated
1 tsp coarse salt
Vegetable oil, for greasing grill rack
6 Ciabatta Rolls, sliced in half horizontally
6 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese



Preheat gas grill to medium high heat. Mix mayonnaise and basil in small bowl; cover and refrigerate until needed. Combine bread and buttermilk in small bowl, mashing occasionally with a fork until paste forms, about 10 minutes. Grill red bell peppers and Anaheim pepper on lower rack of grill until skin is blackened on all sides, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove peppers and seal in zip-top bag to steam for about 10 minutes. Place romaine lettuce in medium size bowl. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and 1/2 tsp salt and toss to coat; set aside. Place ground chuck and ground pork in large bowl. Add minced garlic cloves, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and 1 tsp of salt. Add buttermilk mixture to bowl and gently combine until evenly mixed. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. Grease grill rack with vegetable oil. Place patties on upper shelf of grill rack, close lid and grill until bottoms are browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. While burgers are cooking, peel skin from peppers. Remove stem and seeds from peppers. Slice peppers into 1 x 1/4 inch strips; set aside. Flip burgers, close lid and grill until done, about 5 to 6 minutes more. In the last minute or so of the burgers grilling, place bottom half of Ciabatta rolls on bottom of grill rack. Toast until lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Remove bottom buns and place on platter. Flip burgers once more and place 1 slice of cheese on top of each burger. Close lid to melt cheese on burgers, about 2 minutes. Remove burgers and place atop each bottom bun. Divide pepper slices over burgers. Add about 1/2 cup of romaine lettuce mixture on top of peppers. Place tops of buns on bottom of grill rack and toast until lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Remove top buns and spread about 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise mixture on top bun. Add the roll tops to burgers and serve immediately. Makes 6 burgers.