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Charred Broccolini Turkey Burgers with Ricotta Salata and Lime Sesame Aioli

I love the grill for the simple reason that flavors become so deliciously concentrated! Broccolini, a delightful marriage of broccoli and rapini (aka broccoli rabe), benefits greatly from the way it caramelizes on the grill. It's sweet , yet slightly bitter undertones compliment the juicy, savory turkey burgers. And, ground turkey, fresh from a New Jersey turkey farm...Farm to table. Who wouldn't love that!!!


Lime Sesame Aioli

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 green onions , thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil


1 1/2 pounds ground dark meat turkey
1/2 pound ground white meat turkey
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons Sutter Home Pinot Noir
1 tablespoon good quality tomato paste
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon Tobasco pepper sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
4 ounces Ricotta Salata, finely crumbled*

Charred Broccolini

2 T Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
10 ounces broccolini, stalks trimmed

Vegetable oil for brushing the grill rack
6 King's Hawaiian Honey Wheat rolls, split


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make Lime Sesame Aioli, in a small bowl stir together mayonnaise, green onions, lime juice and zest, and sesame oil until smooth. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate.

To make patties, in a large bowl combine the turkey meats, panko crumbs, wine, tomato paste, red onion, cilantro, garlic, cinnamon, pepper sauce, cumin, salt and black pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Add Ricotta Salata until just incorporated. Form into 6 patties. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To make Broccolini, in medium bowl whisk together oil, garlic, thyme, chili flakes and salt. Toss in broccolini to coat. When grill is ready, brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place broccolini on rack and cook until tender and lightly charred, 7 to 9 minutes, turning as needed. Remove from grill. Cut into 3 inch pieces and place on plate. Cover with plastic wrap and keep warm.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover, and cook, turning once, until done, 5 to 6 minutes each side. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Remove the patties and rolls.

To assemble the burgers, spread the Lime Sesame Aioli on the cut sides of the rolls. Place a patty on each roll bottom. Top each with equal portions of the Broccolini. Add the roll tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers.


*Ricotta Salata is a cow's milk cheese. Unlike ricotta, it is dried, with a salty bite. Found in most supermarkets and Italian salumerias.