Peppercorn Burgers with Goat Cheese Spread & Honeyed Greens

Accolades 2004 Finalists
Serves Makes 6 burgers
Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.


Goat Cheese Spread:

2 goat cheese logs (4 ounces each)
1/3 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

Honeyed Greens:

1 tablespoon walnut oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 to 4 cups mixed field greens
1/2 small sweet onion, thinly sliced

Peppercorn Burgers:

1/2 cup shelled walnut halves
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 teaspoons freshly coarse-ground black peppercorns
6 bakery-fresh ciabatta rolls (approximately 4 x 3 inches each), split
1/3 cup slivered fresh basil leaves



Prepare oiled grill for moderate direct-heat cooking.

For the spread, in a medium bowl, combine goat cheese, crème fraîche, and Sauvignon Blanc until smooth. Fold in sage; refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the greens, in a small bowl, whisk together walnut oil, honey, and balsamic vinegar; set aside. Toss together field greens and onion; set aside. Directly before serving, drizzle dressing over greens and toss to coat.

For the burgers, place walnuts and garlic in food processor. Process until finely ground. Add mushrooms and salt; pulse off and on until well combined. In a large bowl, gently but thoroughly combine mushroom mixture, beef, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Form into 6 patties sized to fit the rolls. Sprinkle patties on both sides with ground peppercorns; press gently to adhere pepper.

Grill patties 4 to 5 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Place rolls, cut side down, on grill and gently warm. To serve, spread goat cheese mixture over roll bottom. Top with a patty, a portion of dressed greens, and slivered basil. Complete with roll top.