RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Herbaceous Ham & Cheeseburgers with Sage Aioli & Salsa

Your palate will have a party with this All American combination of Sutter Home Pinot Noir and a savory gourmet burger that is prepared in the time it takes to drink your first glass of wine!


1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh sage chiffonade
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
6 - 1/2" slices vine-ripened tomato
6 - 1/2" slices sweet yellow onion
4 Hot Dill Pickle spears
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons Colavito Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 pounds ground chuck
1 1/2 tablespoons Grill Seasoning
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable Oil for brushing on grill rack
18 thin slices rosemary ham
6 tablespoons Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
12 thin slices Dill Haavarti cheese
6 Kaiser rolls
6 ounces spring mix of baby greens


DIRECTIONS: Preheat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal grill with cover. For sage aioli combine the mayonnaise, garlic, sage and lemon juice in a bowl. Set aside to bring to room temperature. To prepare the salsa, finely dice the tomatoes on a cutting board and transfer to a medium bowl by hand while gently squeezing out most of the juice and seeds. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Add finely diced sweet onion, finely diced pickles and mix with a fork. Make a pile of the minced garlic, grated lemon zest and kosher salt on a cutting board and integrate by coarsely chopping with a chef's knife. Add to vegetable mix and finish by coating all with the olive oil and mixing well. Mix again before serving. For six 1/3 pound patties, place the ground chuck in a large bowl and mix with the kosher salt and grill seasoning mix, handling lightly and briefly. Form 6 same sized meat balls and flatten between 2 waxed paper sheets with light pressure from a small plate. Pat edges to conform to roll size. Brush the clean, hot grill rack with vegetable oil and place the patties on the rack, cover and grill 5-6 minutes on each side, turning only once, for a burger just pink in the center. Allowing 3 slices of ham per burger, spread mustard lightly on ham and place on patties 2 minutes before done. Top with 2 cheese slices each 1 minute before done, keeping covered for quick melting. Remove patties from grill and place in a single layer on a large platter and cover with aluminum foil. Place sliced Kaiser rolls brushed with olive oil around perimeter of grill to toast lightly. To assemble, spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the salsa on the botton half of the cut side of the roll, a handfull of the baby greens, then the ham & cheese topped patty. Spread 1 tablespoon of the sage aioli over the cut side of the top half of the roll, crown the burger and serve.


The beauty of this burger is in the salsa -- one can have tomatoes, pickles and onions in a neat little spicy relish without those thick slices that can make a burger too thick to wrap your mouth around! Also, the ease of preparation allows the chef to be an entertaining host, especially if the aioli and salsa are prepared in advance. I am such a huge fan of wine and burger pairings that I was thrilled to read about this contest in Sunset Magazine. Thank you Sutter Home and Sponsors!