Mediterranean Burger with Grilled Ratatouille Vegetables

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.


4 oz. sun-dried tomatoes – chopped into coarse 1/4 inch dice
1/3 cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
2 large red bell peppers
2 large yellow bell peppers
2 medium zucchini-sliced on the diagonal into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 thin oriental eggplants-sliced on the diagonal into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 large sweet onion-peeled, with root end intact, cut into 12 wedges
3/4 cup + 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
3 teaspoons salt
2 lbs. ground chuck
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 large cloves garlic 2 finely chopped and two cut in halves
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cups coarsely grated parmesan cheese
Vegetable oil for grill
6 Ciabotta Rolls – split horizontally



Preheat gas grill to medium-high, or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill. Place sun-dried tomatoes and Cabernet Sauvignon in non-reactive bowl. Set aside. Place 2 red bell peppers and 2 yellow bell peppers on the grill. Turn occasionally, 'til pepper skins are uniformly charred. Remove from fire and place in paper bag to steam. To Prepare Grilled Vegetables: Put zucchini slices, eggplant slices and sweet onion wedges in large bowl with 1/2 cup of the extra virgin olive oil. Toss gently to coat. Place vegetables on grill and grill 'til slightly softened – 2 to 3 minutes per side for the zucchini and eggplant slices,4 to 5 minutes per side for the onion wedges. When done, place vegetables on platter, fanning 6 onion wedges out from root end. Remove bell peppers from paper bag. Rub off charred skin and cut peppers in half, lengthwise. Remove and discard stems and seeds. Cut one red pepper and one yellow pepper into one inch wide strips. Place on platter with grilled vegetables. Sprinkle platter with half the lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. To Prepare Sweet Pepper Spread: Put one red bell pepper and one yellow pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Add 6 grilled onion wedges, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, the other half of the lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Process in bursts, 'til well blended, but not totally smooth. To Prepare Patties: Into a large bowl, place the sun-dried tomatoes and Cabernet Sauvignon, 2 teaspoons salt, the 2 lbs. ground chuck, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 2 finely chopped garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons thyme leaves and 1/2 cup grated parmesan. Toss gently to combine ingredients thoroughly, but without compacting them. Oil grill with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Place burger on grill rack and cover. Cook 3 minutes, 'til burgers are brown on the bottom. Uncover, turn and cook to preference – 3 to 5 minutes for medium. Brush remaining 4 Tablespoons olive oil on cut sides of Ciabotta Rolls. Place on edges of grill to lightly toast. Remove from grill and rub cut sides with 2 halves garlic cloves. To Assemble Burgers: Smear a generous spoonful of Sweet Pepper Spread onto bottom of each Ciabotta Roll. Add 3 zucchini slices, 3 eggplant slices, a patty, 2 strips red pepper, 2 strips yellow pepper and one fanned onion wedge. Cover with Ciabotta top. Enjoy!