Picnic Burgers (AKA Bacon-Cheese Burgers with Grilled Watermelon & Lemon-Chive Slaw)

Pairs well with:


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


Lemon-Chive Slaw:
½ cup mayonnaise
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
1 TBSP honey Dijon mustard
1 TBSP grainy Dijon mustard
2 tsp. sugar
1/3 cup minced fresh chives
1/8th tsp. sea salt
1/8th tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 cups angel hair coleslaw (finely shredded cabbage)

¾ cup grated red onion
1 TBSP minced fresh thyme
1½ TBSP Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1½ TBSP double strength tomato paste
1½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 pounds ground chuck

Remaining Ingredients:
12 slices thick-cut bacon
6 ½-inch thick slices seedless watermelon, cut into circles to fit buns
vegetable oil for grill grates
6 thin slices medium-sharp cheddar cheese
6 crusty, but not hard, Kaiser rolls, split


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

In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, both mustards, sugar, chives, salt and pepper. Stir in cabbage. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

In a large bowl, mix together red onion, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, kosher salt and pepper. Gently but thoroughly mix in beef. Shape mixture into 6 patties, with a slight indentation in the center. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside.

When grill is ready, cook bacon in a large, heavy, non-stick fire-proof skillet, until golden and crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then wrap in foil to keep warm.

Grill watermelon until outside is lightly caramelized, 1-2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5-6 minutes per side for medium. During the last 2 minutes of grilling, cover the patties with the cheese slices and place the buns, cut side down, along the outer edges of the grill to toast lightly. Remove burgers and buns.

To assemble burgers, divide the slaw between bun bottoms, top each with a burger, 2 bacon slices, a watermelon slice and the bun tops. Serves 6.