Rustic Tuscan Burgers topped with Warm Mushroom Salad

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

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


Red Pepper Basting Sauce
1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper Tapenade
1/4 cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Warm Mushroom Salad
1 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
30 fresh sage leaves, small to medium size, stems removed
3 ¼ inch thick slices of pancetta, diced into
½ inch squares
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoons Colavita Balsamic Vinegar
4 cups Baby Bella mushrooms, stems removed, halved and quartered
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 pounds ground chuck
2 tablespoons Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing on grill rack
6 ounces young fontina cheese, sliced
6 bun-sized ciabatta bread sections, sliced horizontal



Preheat gas grill to meduim-high heat, or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill. To make the basting sauce, combine tapenade, wine, and garlic in a bowl and set aside. To make the mushroom salad, turn one side of burners to low on the grill. Heat olive oil in a small fire proof sauce pan (2 quart) to 350 degrees on the grill over medium-high heat. If needed, adjust pan between medium-high heat and low heat to keep oil from getting to hot. Drop sage leaves in oil, 5 at time. The sage will fry in seconds. When the oil stops bubbling, with a slatted spoon turn the sage over . When the oil stops bubbling again, with a slatted spoon remove the sage from the oil and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Be careful not to overlap the sage. Repeat process until all sage leaves are fried. Reserve two tablespoons of the oil used to fry the sage for later use. Heat pancetta in a 10-inch fire proof sauté pan on grill over medium-high heat until the pancetta starts to brown and crisp. Drain pancetta on a paper towel lined plate. With a paper towel wipe remaining oil from sauté pan and add the 2 Tbs of the sage frying oil. Return the sauté pan to the grill and warm oil. Add red onion to pan and cook until translucent, about 15 minutes; avoid burning the onions by stirring occasionally and adjusting sauté pan from medium-high heat to low heat. When onions have caramelized, add wine and vinegar to deglaze the pan. With a wooden spoon scrape brown bits off bottom of pan. Add mushrooms and garlic and stir into liquid. Continue to cook and stir occasionally until most liquid has evaporated. Remove pan from grill and cover with foil to keep warm. To make the patties, combine the chuck, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into six equal portions and form into patties. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack. With a brush, baste each patty with the basting sauce. Cover grill and cook for 5 minutes on each side for medium burgers. After the first five minutes, flip the patties and then baste each patty again. Top each patty with equal portions of cheese and cover grill. In the last few minutes of grilling place the sauté pan with mushroom mixture back onto the grill over low heat to warm. Place bread cut side down on the grill over low heat to toast lightly. Remove mushroom mixture and stir in pancetta. To assemble burgers, on each bottom ciabatta bread place a patty. Top each patty with equal portions (about two spoonfuls) of the warm mushroom salad; make sure to get pancetta bits, onions, and mushrooms in each portion. Top mushrooms with five fried sage leaves in the shape of a star. Add the top ciabatta bread and serve. Makes six burgers.