RECIPES: Recipe Details

Rate This Burger 
No votes yet

Cheesy Campaign Trail Burger Topped with Burrata Cheese, Arugula, and Roasted G.O.P. (garlic, onion, pickle, pepper) Relish

I have been fascinated with cooking ever since I was a young child watching my grandmother create delicious family meals in her kitchen, using no written recipes at all. I can remember her shopping for her ingredients daily; going to the butcher for fresh cut meats, picking out fresh produce at the local street markets, and even having weekly home delivery of cheese and olive oil.

My cooking philosophy has always been to create recipes using the freshest and finest quality ingredients that also pack the best flavors my family and I love. I create my recipes from the inspiration I get from my extensive cookbook library, and the many food magazines I read. I am especially inspired when I hear about new ways today’s influential chefs are using certain ingredients, and what the latest food trends are.

While creating my burger recipe I was immediately influenced by the media. With all the coverage of the upcoming presidential election, trying to keep track of all the candidates and their messages, I thought that something or someone has to stand out from the crowd to get my vote. So, with the freshest and finest ingredients, and a few new flavors from the piquant peppers and Burrata cheese, the “Cheesy Campaign Trail Burger” was born. It’s now the top “candidate” on our family grilling menu, and I know it will be a stand-out on yours.

Oh… the G.O.P. is not an intended endorsement… no politics here, just great flavor. Enjoy!


2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup Sutter Home Merlot
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

2 firm, plump garlic bulbs
3 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
2 large red onions, cut in 1/2-inch slices
12 Vlasic Bread and; Butter Stackers, finely chopped (reserve 2 Tbsp of pickle juice from jar)
1/4 cup finely chopped, mild piquant peppers (use Peppadew brand peppers if they are available), (your favorite mild chili peppers may be substituted)

2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 hamburger buns, split (use Kaiser or good-quality crusty buns)
18 ounces Burrata cheese (closely related to mozzarella; very creamy; from southern Italy), divided into 6 equal portions (fresh mozzarella cheese may be substituted)
3 cups baby arugula, pre-washed


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

To make patties: Combine the chuck, Merlot, and paprika and salt in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To roast garlic: Carefully cut off the top of each garlic bulb so that the tops of the cloves are exposed. Drizzle 2 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil over the cut surface of each. Wrap each bulb in aluminum foil. Place on a preheated grill and cover. Roast for about 30 – 40 minutes or until the cloves are tender and the flesh is golden-beige. Remove from grill, unwrap and let cool. Squeeze each bulb to remove the cloves and set aside.

To prepare onions: Drizzle 1 tablespoon of remaining extra virgin olive oil over sliced onions. Place the onion slices on grill, by using a vegetable grill tray or by laying directly on grill (be careful not to let them fall through the rack). Turn once or twice until tender; grill about 20 – 30 minutes. Remove from grill, and let cool. Coarsely chop and set aside.

To make the relish: Combine the roasted garlic, grilled onions, pickles, and peppers in a medium-sized bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoon of reserved pickle juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers: Spread the cheese portions on the patties (the heat from the cooked patties will melt the Burrata cheese), (if using another cheese, you can place the cheese on the patties during the last 3 minutes of grilling to melt). Spread approximately 1 tablespoon of relish on each bun bottom, followed by a cheese-topped patty, and equal portions of arugula. Spread the underside of each bun top with equal portions of remaining relish, place over cheese-arugula topped patties and serve.


Note: To keep onion slices from falling through the rack while grilling, spear them all the way through from side to side with a bamboo skewer. (soak the bamboo skewers in water for about 30 minutes prior to grilling to prevent them from burning)