Wine Varietal: Merlot
2 pounds ground sirloin or ground strip steak
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons of the oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
Zest and juice of 1 small lime
3 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces sharp provolone cheese, cut into 6 thick slices
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for brushing the grill grates
3 tablespoons softened butter
6 good-quality hamburger buns
6 leaves Romaine lettuce
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced thick
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Preheat gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover.
For patties, place beef, sundried tomatoes and their oil, basil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix the beef with the seasonings, handling the mixture as little as possible. Form into 6 patties that fit the size of the buns. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or place in cooler.
To prepare the honey-lime mayonnaise, whisk the mayonnaise, honey, lime zest and lime juice in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or place in cooler.
To prepare the cheese, rub the oregano and red pepper into both sides of each slice of provolone. Using 2 large sheets of non-stick aluminum foil, form a double-thick tray for the cheese. Fold up the edges about 1-inch to provide some stability. Place the seasoned cheese patties in the tray and drizzle them with olive oil. Slide a cookie sheet under the foil for support when moving it.
To cook the beef patties, brush the grate with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover and cook for 4-6 minutes, turning only once. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let rest for about 5 minutes. Place the aluminum tray of cheese on the grill, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese looks melted. Butter the buns, and place them on the outer edges of the grill to toast for about 1 minute.
To assemble the burgers, spread the bottom half of each bun with honey-lime mayonnaise, add a Romaine leaf, a slice of tomato, a sprinkling of fresh oregano, the burger, a cheese patty and the top of the bun.
Makes 6 burgers