Sicilian Salt of the Earth Burgers with Gorgonzola Mayo and Apple-Spice Caponata

Pairs well with:


Get cozy and get pouring. Our Merlot is the wine for long weekends and lengthy chats.


Gorgonzola Mayonnaise

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Apple-Spice Caponata

1 large eggplant peeled and diced (about 2 1/2 cups diced)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup Colavita olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 apples, cored, peeled, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped pimento stuffed olives
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 to 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup Sutter Home Merlot

Sicilian Salt of the Earth Burgers
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground sirloin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup day old Italian bread crumbs moistened with 2 tablespoons of milk
1 1/2 cups crumbled gorgonzola cheese
2 cloves finely minced or pressed garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley

vegetable oil for greasing grill rack
6 ciabatta rolls, split
6 crisp romaine lettuce leaves
Sicilian Sea Salt (I use McCormick’s)



For gorgonzola mayonnaise combine all ingredients in a bowl; cover and chill. For apple-spice caponata, toss the diced eggplant in a colander with 2 tablespoons of salt shaking the colander to coat the eggplant evenly with the salt. Set the colander on a plate and put a second plate inside the colander so it is in direct contact with the eggplant. Place a weight, such as some heavy canned goods on the plate so the plate will press down on the eggplant. Set aside for 30 minutes (The purpose is to squeeze some of the sometimes bitter juices out of the eggplant. Rinse the eggplant in fresh water and squeeze dry. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large grill-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Cook eggplant until golden brown; push to the side of the skillet. Add 2 more tablespoons of oil. Add onions, apples and celery; cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring, until onions are softened. Add tomatoes, olives, capers, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and wine. Cook, uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes or until relish consistency. Season with salt and additional sugar, if needed. Set aside until burgers are ready. Can be made the night before and is delicious warm or chilled. Preheat a gas grill to medium high. To prepare burgers, combine both ground beefs with the salt, pepper, moistened bread crumbs, cheese, garlic and parsley and mix together gently but thoroughly. Form into 6 patties to fit the size of the rolls. Grill patties on a lightly greased grill rack over direct medium heat 4 to 6 minutes per side or to desired doneness. During last few minutes of grilling time toast cut sides of rolls on grill. Spread the bottom half of each roll with gorgonzola mayonnaise. Top with lettuce, a burger and a generous portion of caponata. Sprinkle very lightly with Sicilian sea salt. Cover with roll tops. Makes 6 servings.