The Vito Burger

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

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


Tomato, Onion and Basil Relish:
1 pound roma tomatoes
1/2 pound red onion
3 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
Salt, 1/4 teaspoon for relish and 1 1/2 tablespoons for patties Pepper, 1/4 teaspoon for relish and 1 1/2 tablespoon for patties Patties:
1 1/2 tablespoons salt (as listed above)
1 1/2 tablespoon pepper (as listed above)
1 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
4 tablespoons fennel seeds
3/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated
3/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated
3/4 cup pepperoncini peppers
3/4 cup brine from pepperoncini peppers
2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 pound mild Italian sausage, about 3 links
Vegetable oil for brushing the grill rack
6 Kaiser rolls, split
12 slices provolone cheese
2 cups mayonnaise



Directions: Preheat gas grill to medium. To make relish, remove stem and seeds from tomatoes. Finely chop tomatoes, red onion and fresh basil. Put in bowl and add salt and pepper and set aside. If a food processor is to used cut seeded tomates in quarters, the onion in 8 to 12 pieces and put into processor, add finely chopped basil, salt, and pepper. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped and well blended. Transfer to bowl and set aside. To make patties combine in a large bowl the salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, fennel seeds, grated pecorino-romano cheese, and grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (cheese can be grated in food processor or blender). Remove stems and seeds from pepperoncini peppers and measure 3/4 cup, tightly packed. Put in blender. Measure 1/2 cup brine from pepperoncini peppers and add to blender. Turn blender on and allow peppers to get finely chopped. Pour into bowl with other ingredients. Measure remaining 1/4 cup of brine and pour into blender. Shake around to get pepper that has stuck to the sides of the blender free and pour into the bowl. Add the ground beef. Remove sausage from casing and discard casing. Break apart sausage and distribute over mixture. Handle 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 rolls. Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack. Adjust heat so patties do not cook too fast on the outside. Cover and grill until browned on the bottoms, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn the patties and continue grilling until done to preference, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove a little bread from the cut-side of the tops of rolls (this holds relish on burger better). During the last few minutes of cooking, place 2 slices of provolone cheese on each burger. If there is enough room on grill, carefully place the rolls, cut-side down on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. If there is not enough room, wait until burgers are done and off the grill. To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of mayonnaise on the cut-sides of the rolls. Place a patty on each roll bottom, cheese facing up. On top of the provolone cheese, place a generous amount of the relish. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.