Sun-Blushed Pesto Mozzarella Basil Burgers with Garlic Brushed Ciabatta Rolls

Pairs well with:


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


Sun-Blushed Pesto:
8 ounces sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Garlic Brushed Ciabatta Rolls:
2 cloves of garlic, bruised*
1/2 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 Ciabatta Rolls, sliced
2 1/2 pounds freshly ground beef chuck
2 hot Italian sausages, casings removed and crumbled
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
Oil to brush the grill rack
10 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 6 equal sized slices



To make the sun-blushed pesto, combine in a food processor, the sun dried tomatoes, 1 cup of basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Process until well combined. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and lemon juice to the mixture and process until well combined. Stir in the 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese; set aside. Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat. For the Garlic Brushed Ciabatta Rolls, place the bruised garlic cloves in a small saucepan and pour the 1/2 cup Colavita Olive oil over. Place on preheated grill, close and let cook 10-15 minutes. Using a grill brush, lightly brush the cut sides of the Ciabatta rolls with the garlic infused oil. Place rolls on grill rack oil side down and lightly toast; set aside. To make the patties, combine in a large bowl the ground chuck, crumbled hot Italian sausage,2 teaspoons of kosher salt and the chopped basil. Using your hands, gently combine the meats and spices being careful to not over work the meat. Form the mixture into 6 equal sized patties shaped to fit the ciabatta rolls. Lightly brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the oiled rack and grill 8-10 minutes in closed grill, turning once for medium doneness. Arrange cooked patties on bottom halves of prepared ciabatta rolls. Top each with one of the mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon a generous portion of the sun-blushed pesto over the cheese on each, evenly dividing. Top with the remaining bun halves. Yield: 6 burgers