Manja Manja Pesto Burger

Pairs well with:


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


Pesto Mayonnaise:
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves (no stems)
1/8 cup pine nuts
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 large garlic clove (minced)
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
½ Tablespoon kosher salt
½ cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 pounds ground chuck
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 large cloves garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon fennel seed
¾ teaspoon thyme
¾ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon dried basil
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
1 16oz loaf ciabatta bread cut into 6×3 inch triangles and split
¼ cup Colavita Extra virgin Olive Oil
1/8 cup Aged Balsamic vinegar
6 slices fresh (water packed)
mozzarella cheese (1/4-inch thick)
6 romaine lettuce leaves, cut to fit on bread
6 (1/4-inch thick) large tomato slices



Directions Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat. To make the pesto Mayonnaise, combine the fresh basil, pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, parmigiano-reggiano, and salt in a food processor and process until well blended. Scrape the sides of the bowl and turn on and slowly add the olive oil. Remove the mixture to a small bowl and fold in the mayonnaise. Refrigerate until serving. To make the patties, combine the beef, salt, garlic, fennel seed, thyme, black pepper, basil, and oregano in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form into 1 ¼ inch thick patties. Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill until browned on the bottoms, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the patties and continue grilling until done to preference, about 5 minutes longer for medium. The last minute of cooking top the patty with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese and melt. Mix the ¼ cup olive oil with the 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar. During the last few minutes of cooking, brush the cut side of the bread with the olive oil balsamic vinegar mixture and carefully place the bread, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, place a generous amount of the pesto mayonnaise over the cut sides of the bread. On each bread bottom, place a patty, romaine leaf, and a tomato slice. Add the bread tops and serve.