Native American Buffalo Burgers with Three Sisters Slaw

Pairs well with:


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


Three Sisters Slaw
1/2 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium corn-on-the-cob, husked
1 medium zucchini, cut into quarters lengthwise
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 chopped red onion
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cilantro & Sunflower Seed Mayo
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic

1 1/4 pounds ground chuck
3/4 pound ground buffalo
1 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds, lightly crushed
2 tablespoons dried rubbed sage
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt

2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
12 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 6 equal slices
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
6 (1/4-inch-thick) large heirloom tomato or tomato slices


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the slaw, lightly mash beans with a fork in a medium bowl; set aside. Generously brush corn and zucchini with vegetable oil. Place corn in middle of a 12×16-inch piece of foil; bring up foil sides, double folding sides and ends to form a packet. Place foil packet on grill rack, cover, and cook, 15 to 20 minutes, turning packet over once. Place zucchini on grill rack during last 8 minutes of cooking, and cook until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes per side. Cut the corn from the cobs with a sharp knife; coarsely chop the zucchini. Add corn, zucchini, red onion, maple syrup and salt to beans and mix well; set aside.

To make the mayo, combine the mayonnaise, sunflower seeds, cilantro, lime juice and garlic in food processor; process until smooth; set aside.

To make the patties, combine the chuck, buffalo, sunflower seeds, sage, cayenne pepper and salt in a large bowl. Handling as little as possible, shape into 6 patties.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, about 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium or longer for well done. Top the patties with the cheese during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack during the final minute of grilling to toast to a light golden brown.

To assemble the burgers, spread the cilantro mayo over the cut sides of the buns. Place a grilled patty on each bun bottom and top with equal portions of the slaw. Add a tomato slice, followed by a bun top. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 burgers