Mediterranean Olive Zucchini Burger with Tomato Basil Gruyere Sauce

Pairs well with:


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


3 medium tomatoes, preferably heirloom, such as German Johnson (one for the sauce and 2 for topping.)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped coarsely
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves,loosely packed, plus 6 extra sprigs for topping
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, (1/2 teaspoon for the sauce, 2 teaspoons for the patties)
2 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, (1/2 teaspoon for the sauce, 2 teaspoons for the patties)
1/2 cup gruyere, grated
2 1/4 pounds ground chuck
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut into halves
Colavita Olive Oil for brushing the grill rack
6 French rolls, split



Preheat a gas grill to medium high. To make the sauce, core one of the tomatoes and chop into chunks. Place in the bowl of a food processor. Set aside the other two tomatoes for future use. Add garlic, 1/3 cup of basil leaves, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper to the tomatoes. Pulse for 5 second intervals until mixture is finely chopped, but not pureed. Remove the processor bowl from the base, take out the blade and stir in the gruyere. Pour out 1/3 cup of the mixture. Cover the processor bowl with the rest of the mixture and set aside. To make the patties, pour the 1/3 cup of the tomato basil mixture into a large bowl. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper and stir well. Add the ground beef and mix well, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with the olive oil. Place the patties on the rack and cook, turning once, until done to preference, about 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. While the burgers are cooking, slice the remaining 2 tomatoes into 6 slices and set aside. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down on the outer edges of the grill to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, place a patty on each roll bottom. Spread a generous amount of the tomato basil mixture on the patty. Top with a tomato slice and basil sprig. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.