Provençal Burger with Tapenade Butter

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.

The flavors of the food from the Provence region of France are so fresh and clean and bright that I became totally entranced on my many travels there.In creating this burger, I decided that I wanted to put my own unique twist on great French ingredients. By employing all of the great Provencal flavors, I’ve truly created a burger with flavors that will just pop in your mouth!


Herbes de Provence Zucchini Pickles:
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
1/2 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 1/8-inch thick half-moons

Tapenade Butter:
1 stick good-quality unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons finely minced black Nicoise olives (or other black olives)
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed, finely minced
1 large clove garlic, crushed and finely minced
1 anchovy filet (packed in olive oil), crushed with the back of the knife and finely minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice

8 ounces pancetta (or bacon), cut into about 2-inch by 1/2-inch pieces

2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup finely minced shallot
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 potato hamburger buns
8 ounces Comte cheese, shredded
2 cups lamb’s lettuce (also known as mache)


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.

To make Herbes de Provence Zucchini Pickles, add water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and Herbes de Provence to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add zucchini; remove from heat. Set aside for at least 1 hour.

To make Tapenade Butter, in a small mixing bowl combine butter, olives, capers, garlic, anchovy, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and lemon juice; mix until well combined.

To make Lardons, heat a large fireproof skillet on the grill. Add pancetta and cook over medium-high heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

To make the patties, combine the beef, shallot, basil, Herbes de Provence, rosemary, 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.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, top the burgers with equal amounts of cheese and place the bread on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of Tapenade Butter on the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place 6-8 Zucchini Pickles, a cheese-topped patty, equal amounts of Lardons, and lamb’s lettuce. Add bun tops and serve.

Makes 6 servings.