Put A Little Ham On Your Burgers Italiano

Pairs well with:

White Zinfandel

With strawberry and melon essences, this American original is perfectly at home with however you like to unwind.


Burgers Italiano:
1 jar (10-12 oz.) green or black olive tapenade, drained and liquid reserved 
¼ cup white zinfandel
12 large cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise
1 ½ pounds ground beef, approximately 85% lean
½ pound hot Italian sausage (about 2 links), casing removed
1 ½ cups pecorino romano cheese, finely grated
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Pesto-Garlic Spread:
1 package (8 oz.) whipped cream cheese
½ cup pesto (from 8-10 oz. jar), drained and oil reserved
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1-pound loaves good Italian bread or 12 square ciabatta rolls
(Oil for grill and burgers is reserved olive oil from pesto and sun-dried tomatoes)
3 3-ounce packages prosciutto (Italian ham), each package cut in half crosswise ½ cup (from 8oz. jar) julienned
sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and oil reserved
2-3 ounces Arugula, cleaned and stems removed
1 cup (from16 oz. jar) mild pepper rings, drained on paper towels
1 large red onion, cut into 6 thin slices
12 slices Asiago cheese



Heat electric grill on highest setting. Place reserved liquid from tapenade, zinfandel and sliced garlic in non-stick 8” skillet with metal handle. Place skillet on hot grill. Saute garlic 5-6 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and garlic is tender, stirring constantly. Place garlic on cutting board to cool. Meanwhile mix together ground beef, Italian sausage, romano cheese and Italian seasoning. Finely chop sautéed garlic and any large pieces of olives from tapenade. Mix into ground beef mixture. Refrigerate. In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, pesto and minced garlic. Set aside. Cut ends from Italian loaves. Slice both loaves into 3 equal pieces. Trim bottoms and tops from all 6 pieces and slice horizontally in half. Alternatively, cut tops and bottoms from the 12 ciabatta rolls. Pair up to make 6 grillable square burger rolls. Set aside. Form burger mixture into 6 equal (approximately 8 ounces) square patties slightly larger than square bread pieces. Mix together reserved olive oils from pesto and sun-dried tomatoes. Oil grill and one side of burger patties with reserved oil mixture. Place burgers, oiled side down on hot grill and cook for 3-4 minutes. Place layered squares of prosciutto on grill, turning once to heat through. Oil tops of burgers and turn, cooking approximately another 3-4 minutes. Place grilled prosciutto ham on burger patties. To assemble burgers Italiano, spread pesto-garlic spread on one side of all 12 bread pieces. Place sun-dried tomatoes on 6 spread sides and top with arugula. Place drained peppers on the other 6 spread sides and place red onion slice on top of peppers. Place one slice of Asiago cheese on all 12 bread halves. Remove burgers from grill and place on top of cheese. Carefully flip the other bread halves over on top of burgers. Brush top side of sandwich with reserved olive oil mixture. Place all 6 assembled burgers close together on grill, oiled side down. Place a large cookie sheet on top of burgers to press down. Grill burgers until bread is golden with great grill marks, approximately 1-2 minutes. Remove cookie sheet, brush bread tops with oil and turn over. Top with cookie sheet. Grill another 1-2 minutes or until golden. Remove burgers from grill and slice diagonally in half. Makes 6 “Put A Little Ham On Your Burgers Italiano!”