“Mmmmmm”editerranean Burger

Pairs well with:


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


2 lbs. ground chuck
1/4 cup Zinfandel
1 tbs salt
1/2 tbs ground black pepper

Sundried tomato, artichoke, and black olive “quick” aioli:
(“quick” because prepared mayonnaise is used)
1.5 cups good quality mayonnaise
Juice of 1/2 large lemon; keep the seeds out!
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, chopped
1/2 cup artichoke hearts (jarred or canned), packed in water, chopped
2 tbs chopped black olives
2 tbs chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Pinch of salt

6 ciabatta rolls
6 slices provolone cheese (non-smoked)
12 thin slices pancetta
3 cups baby arugula, washed
Vegetable oil, for lightly brushing the patties


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the patties, combine the chuck and Zinfandel in a large bowl; do not over mix. Form into 6 patties that fit the buns. Combine the salt and pepper and sprinkle mixture on both sides of each patty. Cover in plastic and set aside in cool place.

To make the aioli, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, tomatoes, artichokes, olives, basil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Cover and chill.

When the grill is ready, place the pancetta slices in a large, grill-safe skillet and cook until crisp. Remove from heat and set aside on paper towel to drain any excess fat. Depending on the size of the skillet you may need to prepare in 2 batches.

Lightly brush the patties with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium.

During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place the bun tops, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast. Place 1 slice of provolone cheese on each bun bottom and also place those on the outer edges of the grill rack to melt the cheese.

To assemble the burgers, place one patty on each cheese-covered bun bottom and top with 2 slices of crispy pancetta. Spread an ample layer of the aioli on each bun top, add a handful of arugula, and place on top of the patty. Cut in half, secure with a skewer, and serve!