Pesto Mozzarella Burger with Grilled Zucchini

Pairs well with:

Pinot Grigio

You won’t need a bouquet of flowers when you share our Pinot Grigio. This crisp wine with floral aromas is a wonderful way to make an entrance.


2 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 medium garlic cloves
1/3 cup pine nuts
pinch kosher salt
pinch freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup olive oil
3 zucchini, sliced into vertical 1/4″ slices
1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 pounds ground chuck
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons Pinot Grigio
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Vegetable oil for brushing on the grill rack
6 hamburger buns, split
6 slices mozzarella cheese
6 romaine lettuce leaves
6 tomato slices
6 red onion slices, separated into rings


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

To make the pesto, combine the basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until mixture forms a paste. Add olive oil to food processor and pulse until combined. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.

Brush olive oil on zucchini, sprinkle with kosher salt. When grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the zucchini on grill rack and cook, turning once, until slightly charred. About 3 – 5 minutes on each side. Remove from grill and set aside until ready to serve.

To make the patties, combine the ground chuck, shallots, Pinot Grigio, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns.

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, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with a cheese slice.

To assemble the burgers, spread the pesto over the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place a lettuce leaf, tomato slice, equal amounts of red onion rings, a patty, and equal amounts of zucchini slices. Add the bun tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.