Simply Zin-Ful Burgers with Avocado Green Goddess Aioli and Smoky Blood Orange Onions

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.

One of my favorite wines, spicy, peppery Zinfandel, along with one of my favorite dressings, Green Goddess; splendid with fresh herbs served as the catalyst for this burger.When I grill I tend to gravitate to bold fresh flavors, probably due to growing up in Southern California with its Latin influence and abundance of fresh produce. These burgers take me back to my roots and some of my earliest food memories.


Avocado Green Goddess Aioli:

1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

1/3 cup coarsely chopped scallions

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

3 chopped garlic cloves

2 drained and chopped (oil packed) anchovy fillets

1/2 cup crumbled Real California cotija

1 small ripe California Avocado, peeled, seeded and diced

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon blood orange juice

Smoky Blood Orange Onions:

1/4 cup fresh blood orange juice

1 tablespoon Tabasco Brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 red onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings


2 pounds ground beef chuck

1/3 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel

1/3 cup minced sweet onion

1/2 cup drained and chopped (oil packed) sun-dried tomatoes

1-1/2 teaspoons cumin

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack

6 Kaiser rolls, split

6 crisp romaine lettuce leaves


Preheat a gas grill to medium-hot or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill.

To make the Avocado Green Goddess Aioli, combine cilantro, scallions, parsley, garlic, anchovies, and cotija in food processor; process until finely chopped. (Remove and reserve 3 tablespoons for patties.) Add avocado, mayonnaise, and blood orange juice to remaining mixture; process until smooth. Cover and chill.

To make the Smoky Blood Orange Onions, in small bowl, whisk together blood orange juice, Tabasco Brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce, sugar and salt. Add red onion; tossing to mix. Set aside until serving, stirring occasionally. Drain slightly before serving.

To make the patties, combine the beef, reserved green goddess mixture, wine, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, cumin and salt in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last few minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, spread the Avocado Green Goddess Aioli over the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place a lettuce leaf, a patty, and an equal amount of the Smoky Blood Orange Onions. Add the roll tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers