Washington Blueberry Chipotle Burgers

Pairs well with:

White Merlot

Imagine sipping a lighter Merlot. This fresh, pale-pink wine is a nice change from traditional red or white wines.

Summers in Western Washington, where I grew up and live, mean berries.Lots of berries. Slightly tangy, sweet, juicy blueberries, one of my favorites, are abundant from June through August. The arid lands of Eastern Washington produce great peppers. Combining the two flavors produces a sumptuous “east meets west” burger–Washington style!


2 cups blueberries
2 3″ to 4″ diced chipotle chiles
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water, or enough to make a watery paste.

12 pieces bacon

1 3/4 pounds ground chuck
1/3 cup chives, snipped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
coarse salt

vegetable oil, for brushing grill

1/4 cup mayonnaise
6 pieces lettuce
12 slices Brie cheese, about 1-1/2 inches x 3 inches x 1/8th-inch thick
12 slices California avocados
6 onion kaiser buns


Combine blueberries, chilis, sugar, 1/4 cup unsalted butter, and lime juice in a medium fire-proof saucepan. Set on grill and bring to a boil.

In a small cup combine cornstarch and water. Add to blueberry mixture. Cook until thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from grill. Pour into blender bowl and blend until smooth. Cover and set aside.

Heat a large, heavy, fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Wrap in foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, put beef in large bowl. Add chives, oregano, rosemary, parsley, sea salt, and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well.

Divide meat into 6 portions, then form into 6 patties to fit buns. Sprinkle top with coarse salt.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning and sprinkling top side with coarse salt once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium.

During last 2-3 minutes of grilling, place buns cut side down on edges of grill and lightly toast.

Remove buns and patties from grill.

To assemble burgers, spread about 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise on each bun bottom. Add a leaf of lettuce and 2 slices of bacon, then a patty. Spoon generous amounts of Blueberry Chipotle Sauce over patty and top with 2 slices of Brie cheese and 2 slices of avocado. Cover with bun top.

Serve with remaining Blueberry Chipotle Sauce for dipping. Enjoy the taste of summer, Washington style!