Pan Bagnat Camembert Burgers

Pairs well with:

White Merlot

Imagine sipping a lighter Merlot. This fresh, pale-pink wine is a nice change from traditional red or white wines.

Is it possible for a recipe to transport one to another place or time? I believe so.
Part of the magic of food, is that it is more than a taste or a flavor; it is also a memory and an experience.
“Pan Bagnat”, those large overstuffed sandwiches so popular in Southern France served as the inspiration for my burger creation. Far from traditional; yet somehow this sandwich transformed into a “cheeseburger” is superbe!


Tomato & Fennel Topping:
3 ripe Roma tomatoes, sliced
1/2 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons COLAVITA Aged Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 garlic clove, pressed
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup COLAVITA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds ground beef chuck
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated red onion
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Vegertable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 slices Camembert (Real California Cheese)
6 good-quality crusty rolls, split and some of the soft center removed
1 (4.23 oz) pkg. COLAVITA Roasted Peppers, drained
6 tablespoons purchased black olive tapenade
1 (or 2) bottles Sutter Home White Merlot


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the topping, combine the tomatoes and fennel in a shallow bowl. Whisk together vinegar, anchovy paste, garlic, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper in small bowl; pour over tomatoes and fennel. Set aside.

To make the patties, combine the beef, basil, onion, garlic, and salt in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 equal patties to fit the rolls.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack 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. Place the cheese slices on the patties during the last 3 minutes of grilling. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, place equal portions of the tomato and fennel topping on each roll bottom, followed by a cheese-topped patty, and an equal portion of the roasted peppers. Spread the roll tops, on cut side, with tapenade. Add the roll tops. Fill six glasses with Sutter Home White Merlot; sip, savor and repeat!

Makes 6 servings