Wine Varietal: Merlot
My Italian heritage was the inspiration for my burger, bringing old world products into the modern age, much like the RENAISSANCE period which began in Italy and was the bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern Era. Red wine, garlic, Italian cheeses, fresh herbs and prosciutto along with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glace took my burger to another level. Grilled zucchini riibbons and baby arugula are my final additions to building a better burger.
1/2 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup Sutter Home Merlot
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely grated
2 pounds ground beef chuck 80/20
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2/3 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 tablespoon mayonnaise
3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon (loosely measured) grated lemon zest
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 medium clove garlic, finely grated (about scant 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
ZUCCHINI RIBBONS AND PROSCIUTTO
2 baby zucchini (about 6-inches long by 1-1/2-inches in diameter)
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon balsamic glace (such as Colavita brand)
3 thin slices prosciutto
Vegetable oil to brush grill rack
6 quality bakery baked cracked-wheat hamburger buns, split horizontally
2 cups baby arugula
2 teaspoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-1/2 teaspoons balsamic glace (such as Colavita brand)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat gas grill to medium-high or prepare a charcoal fire to medium-hot.
For patties, in a large bowl combine shallots, wine and garlic then add beef to bowl. Gently mix together. Form mixture into 6 equal size patties to fit buns. Refrigerate patties covered until grilling time. Set aside salt and pepper for burgers until grilling time.
For spread, in a small bowl mix ricotta, grated cheese, mayonnaise, basil, oregano, rosemary, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper together. Refrigerate covered until needed.
For zucchini ribbons, trim ends and slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Discard ends, first and last strips. In a medium bowl, whisk olive oil and balsamic glace together. Add strips to bowl; toss to coat. Lay strips on a large nonstick grill tray. Place tray on grill rack; grill zucchini until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side then transfer zucchini to a 12-inch piece of Reynold’s Wrap non-stick foil . Place prosciutto on grill tray; lightly brown each side, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board; cut each slice in half then place on foil with zucchini. Wrap zucchini and prosciutto; set aside.
Remove grill tray from grill. Wipe grill rack with vegetable oil. Retrieve patties; season on both sides with reserved salt and pepper. Place patties on grill rack; cook covered on medium-high heat, turning once until done to preference or 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium. During the last few minutes of grilling place buns cut side down on grill rack and toast lightly. Place foil wrapped zucchini and prosciutto on grill rack a few minutes to warm.
To assemble burgers, slather bun bottoms with 2 tablespoons spread, top with a burger, a half slice of prosciutto and two zucchini strips (folded). Whisk olive oil, balsamic glace and salt in a medium bowl then add arugula; quickly toss. Top zucchini with equal portions of arugula and cover with a bun top.