RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Peppercorn Burgers with Goat Cheese Spread & Honeyed Greens

The 2004 Finalist burger recipe pairs perfectly with Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc.

Makes 6 burgers

Goat Cheese Spread:

2 goat cheese logs (4 ounces each)
1/3 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

Honeyed Greens:

1 tablespoon walnut oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 to 4 cups mixed field greens
1/2 small sweet onion, thinly sliced

Peppercorn Burgers:

1/2 cup shelled walnut halves
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 teaspoons freshly coarse-ground black peppercorns
6 bakery-fresh ciabatta rolls (approximately 4 x 3 inches each), split
1/3 cup slivered fresh basil leaves


Prepare oiled grill for moderate direct-heat cooking.

For the spread, in a medium bowl, combine goat cheese, crème fraîche, and Sauvignon Blanc until smooth. Fold in sage; refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the greens, in a small bowl, whisk together walnut oil, honey, and balsamic vinegar; set aside. Toss together field greens and onion; set aside. Directly before serving, drizzle dressing over greens and toss to coat.

For the burgers, place walnuts and garlic in food processor. Process until finely ground. Add mushrooms and salt; pulse off and on until well combined. In a large bowl, gently but thoroughly combine mushroom mixture, beef, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Form into 6 patties sized to fit the rolls. Sprinkle patties on both sides with ground peppercorns; press gently to adhere pepper.

Grill patties 4 to 5 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Place rolls, cut side down, on grill and gently warm. To serve, spread goat cheese mixture over roll bottom. Top with a patty, a portion of dressed greens, and slivered basil. Complete with roll top.


The 1904 World’s Fair was held to celebrate the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase, a territorial acquisition obtained from the French which allowed America to more than double in size and expand to the West. A hundred years later, we celebrate the second centennial of this fabulous Parisian shopping spree.

America paid $15 million for all the land from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. That’s something to celebrate! So raise your glass of Sutter Home wine and let’s toast America on American soil with a European-inspired yet completely all-American beef “Peppercorn Burger.”