Opa! Burgers

Accolades 2006 Finalists
Serves Makes 6 burgers

A celebratory burger for a Mediterranean-inspired meal. Opa!


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 8 ounces goat feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives


  • 1 cup Sutter Home Shiraz
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil for brushing grill rack
  • 6 Italian-style bolo rolls or other rustic buns, split
  • 12 thin slices sopressata (Italian salami variety)
  • 1 cup loosely packed baby spinach leaves
  • 6 large tomato, slices


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

Combine the mayonnaise and roasted peppers in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and chill until ready to use.

In a separate small bowl, mash the cheese with a fork. Stir in the olives; set aside.

To make the patties, pour the wine into a small, heavy fire-proof saucepan and heat on the grill until the wine begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and add the dried mushrooms, stirring with a fork to ensure that all the mushrooms are moistened. Set the mushrooms aside to reconstitute for at least 30 minutes.

Gently squeeze the excess liquid from the reconstituted mushrooms and, using a chef’s knife, chop. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the lamb, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Form into 6 equal patties in the shape of the rolls.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover, and cook for 4 minutes. With a spatula, turn the patties over, and cook an additional 4 minutes, or until done to preference. During the last few minutes of grilling, place the rolls, cut side down, on outer edges of grill to lightly toast.

To assemble the burgers, spread the mayonnaise mixture over the bottom roll halves and the cheese mixture over the top halves. Layer the bottom rolls with the patties, sopressata, spinach leaves, tomato slices, and roll tops.