Muddled Mint and Green Olive Cocktail Burgers… with a Twist
Mint and Olive Topping
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves (about 20 leaves), chopped fine
1 cup good quality pitted green olives, chopped fine (Spanish cocktail olives will work in a pinch)
Zest from one lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Colavita olive oil
2 pounds freshly ground sirloin (15% fat content)
1 teaspoon kosher salt + some for sprinkling on formed patties
1 teaspoon ground black pepper + some for sprinkling on formed patties
¼ cup Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc
4-6 Bocconcini sized fresh mozzarella cheese balls, cut in 12, ¼ inch thick slices
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
12 small good quality slider buns, or Italian rolls of similar size, cut in half
4 tablespoons Colavita olive oil
1 whole clove garlic
12, ¼ inch thick slices plum tomatoes
To make the topping place the chopped mint leaves in a medium sized bowl and muddle with the back of a spoon to release the flavor. Add the olives, lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic, and olive oil. Combine well and set aside.
To make the patties, combine the sirloin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper, and the Sutter Home sauvignon blanc in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. Keep cold until ready to grill.
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
Brush the cut side of the buns with the olive oil.
When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack, remove the buns when nicely browned and rub both cut sides with the garlic clove, cover with a cloth napkin and set aside.
Sprinkle the patties with additional salt and pepper and place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, 2 to 3 minutes on each side for medium. During the final two minutes of grilling the patties place a slice of mozzarella on each, remove patties from grill when cheese has begun to melt.
To assemble the burgers, spread the top and bottom of the cut sides of the bun with mint and olive topping, place a patty on bottom bun and the sliced tomato on top of the melted mozzarella. Add the bun tops and serve.
Makes 12 sliders.