Pistachio-Encrusted Cheeseburgers with Mortadella, Spinach, and Grilled Tomato and Onion

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.


2 pounds ground chuck
4 oz. package domestic crumbled Gorgonzola
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups pre-shelled salted California pistachio kernels, coarsely chopped
2 cups pre-washed bagged baby spinach
1 tablespoon garlic and Italian herb infused olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pep
6 small Roma tomatoes, stemmed and sliced lengthwise into halves
1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 small red onion, quartered, with stem left intact
1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Country Dijon mustard
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 slices Mortadella with pistachio
6 deli-quality burger buns, split



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

To make the patties: Combine the chuck, Gorgonzola, crushed red pepper, garlic, and salt in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size. Coat all sides of the patties with the pistachios, gently pressing them into the meat. Cover and set aside.

To prepare the spinach: Toss with the olive oil and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.

To prepare the tomatoes: Toss with the balsamic glaze and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

To prepare the onion: Toss with the mustard in a bowl. Set aside.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties, tomato, and onion on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, about 5 minutes on each side. Place the buns, 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 a slice of Mortadella on each bun bottom, followed by an equal portion of spinach, a burger patty, 2 tomato slices, and several onion segments. Add the bun tops and serve.