Caprese Burger

Wine Varietal: Merlot


With snow and ice covering the ground much of the year in Minnesota, summer is blissfully welcomed along with its homegrown flavors.Juicy and tangy Caprese Salads reflect the taste of summer in Minnesota. This burger captures intense flavors that can be enjoyed year-round


3 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped and divided in half
25 large leaves of basil
1 1/3 lb ground hamburger (85/15)
6 tablespoons shredded mozzarella
6 ciabatta rolls, sliced in half


In a large mixing bowl, add 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt, the sun dried tomatoes and 1 pile of the divided garlic to the bowl and set aside. Finely chop the basil. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt over the remaining pile of the divided garlic and grind it into the garlic using the flat part of a knife blade, making a paste. Scoop the basil and garlic into a small bowl and drizzle in 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper and mix well to create a basil pesto. Add the hamburger to the bowl containing the sun-dried tomatoes. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar on top of the meat and work with your hands to combine all the ingredients evenly into the meat. Divide the meat into twelve even sections and create thin patties 1/4″ thick. Place a tablespoon of shredded mozzarella in the center of one and cover with a second patty, sealing the edges of the two patties together. Cup the burger in your hands to make sure it is fully sealed and pressed together well. Repeat with the others. Grill the burgers over high heat on a charcoal grill for two minutes on each side. While the burgers are cooking, grill the ciabatta rolls open-faced over indirect heat for two minutes. Remove from the grill and spread the basil pesto on both halves of each roll. Remove the burgers from the grill and place on the rolls.