Tuscan Burgers with Mixed Olive Relish and Rucola

Pairs well with:


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


1 small tomato, seeded and finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup finely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup finely choppd pimiento-stuffed green olives
3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, (1 Tbsp. for relish and 2 Tbsp.) for patties
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (Colavita),(1 Tbsp. for relish and 3 Tbsp. for tomato spread)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary leaves, (1/2 tsp. for relish and 2 1/2 tsp. for patties)
5 Tbsp. minced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, (3 Tbsp. for tomato spread and 2 Tbsp. for patties)
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves, (1 Tbsp. for tomato spread and 2 Tbsp. for patties )
2 1/4 tsp. minced garlic, (1/4 tsp. for tomato spread and 2 tsp. for patties)
1 tsp. plus a pinch of sea salt, (pinch for tomato spread and 1 tsp. for patties)
2 pounds ground Beef (chuck)
5 ounces mild Italian sausage(casings removed)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage leaves
vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
6 focaccia or ciabatta rolls, split horizontally (or six 4 1/2 inch squares of foccacia, split horizontally)
4 ounces smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups rucola (arugula)leaves



To prepare mixed olive relish, combine tomatoes, Kalamata olives, green olives, 1 Tbsp. parsley, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. rosemary in a small bowl. Mix well; cover and set aside. To prepare tomato spread, place 3 Tbsp. olive oil; 3 Tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, 1 Tbsp. basil, 1/4 tsp. garlic and pinch of salt in a small blender bowl. Pulse until just smooth. Cover and set aside. (Alternately: Place spread ingredients in small bowl and use a small immersion blender-or just whisk ingredients in a small bowl.) Prepare a gas grill for medium high heat. To prepare patties, combine the beef, sausage, sage, remaining 2 Tbsp. parsley, 2 1/2 tsp. rosemary, 2 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, 2 Tbsp. basil, 2 tsp. garlic, and 1 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Shape into six equal patties, formed to fit the rolls. Cover and keep chilled. Brush the grill rack with oil. Grill rolls, cut side down, until just golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Spread tomato spread on cut sides of roll bottoms while rolls are still warm. Place patties on grill rack(over direct heat); cover and grill until burgers are brown on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn; grill until burgers are cooked to preference; about 4 to 5 minutes for medium. Place cheese on top of burgers during last 2 minutes of grilling to melt slightly, about 2 minutes. To assemble burgers; place some rucola, then burger on each roll bottom. Top each wiht some olive relish and roll tops. Makes 6 burgers.