“Panzanella” Fusion Burgers with tomato and sweet pickle relish, and a gorgonzola spread

Pairs well with:


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


4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs ground chuck
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons worshishire sauce
1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs, preferably fresh

“panzenella” tomato and sweet pickle relish
2 medium tomatoes, preferably heirloom, chopped
1 large vidalia onion, minced
8-10 bread and butter pickle chips, diced (depending on size)
2 tablespoons Colavita olive oil
2 tablespoons Colavita balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

gorgonzola spread
3 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese (such as Treasure Cave)
1/4 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup yogurt

vegetable oil for brushing onto the grill rack

6 good quality hamburger buns


Start a gas grill to medium high, or prepare a charcoal grill to a medium hot fire.

In a fireproof pan, saute the garlic until soft and fragrant. Place in a large bowl, and add in the ground beef, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. In a separate bowl, combine the egg with the milk and worshishire sauce and mix well. Add this to the ground beef mixture, along with the breadcrumbs. Mix together all ingredients, thoroughly but gently. Form lightly into six even patties, and refrigerate until ready to cook.
To make the “panzanella” relish, combine the tomatoes, onion, and pickles in a bowl. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and toss the the tomato mixture. Set aside.
Combine the gorgonzola with the mayonaise and yogurt, mixing well, to make the spread. Refrigerate.
Brush the oil onto the grill rack. Place the burger patties onto the grill, and cook for four to five minutes a side, until the desired doneness. For the last two minutes, toast the buns on the edge of the grill.
Assemble the burgers by spreading the gorgonzola spread onto the bottom side of the toasted buns. Follow with the grilled patties, and top with even portions of the relish. Finish by adding the remaining bun tops, plate and enjoy.
Serves 6.