South of France Burgers

Pairs well with:


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


Blue cheese, walnut and grape spread:
4 oz. crumbled blue cheese
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 cup seedless red grapes, chopped
1 cup of walnuts, finely chopped and toasted
2 pounds ground chuck
2 teaspons kosher salt
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
12 slices french bread, 3/4" thick, sliced on a diagonal
2 tablespoons butter, melted
6 pieces Romaine lettuce
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning



Directions: Preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the spread, combine the blue cheese crumbles, cream cheese, and whipping cream in a bowl and mix well. Fold in the grapes. In a fire-proof skillet, place the walnuts and toast, gently stirring. Fold the toasted walnuts in the mixture to blend well. Cover and refrigerate until needed. To make the patties, gently combine all ingredients 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 bread slices. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill until browned on the bottoms, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the patties and continue grilling until done to preference, about 5 minutes longer for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, brush one side of each piece of bread with the butter and place, butter side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, on each bread bottom, place 1 leaf of Romaine and a patty. Spread equal portions of the spread on the patties. Season generously with black pepper. Add the bread tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.