RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Nearly Naked Gaucho Burgers

This wonderfully juicy burger is packed with flavor and served on a Brioche hamburger bun. It's seasoned with a unique chimichurri sauce that is also used to flavor an avocado mayonnaise and a crisp cucumber 'spaghetti' topping. The recipe is simple to execute and allows the host or hostess to quickly produce a unique burger with very little effort from very basic pantry ingredients. It's one of our favorites.


1-1/2 cups packed Italian flat-leaf parsley (leaves only)
1-1/2 cups packed cilantro (leaves only)
1-1/2 cups chopped scallions (white and tender green)
1 jalapeno chile coarsely chopped (stem, ribs and seeds removed) 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
1/2 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive
1/4 + 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar, divided
3-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper, divided
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 California Hass avocado, pitted and peeled
2 long English or hot-house cucumbers
2-1/4 pounds 80% ground beef chuck
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel
2 egg yolks
Vegetable oil for brushing grill
6 Brioche hamburger buns, split


Instructions: Preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To prepare Gaucho sauce combine parsley, cilantro, scallions, jalapeno chile and garlic in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse to coarsely chop. Add olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; pulse just to blend. Do not puree. Scrape into a small bowl and set aside. To prepare avocado mayonnaise combine mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Gaucho sauce, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and avocado in the bowl of a food processor. Process to puree. When smooth remove to a small bowl, cover and chill. To prepare cucumber spaghetti use a cheese slicer or mandolin to cut cucumber into thin lengthwise slices. Roll each slice into a cylinder and cut crosswise to form thin linguine-like strands. Put into a small bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 to 2 tablespoons Gaucho sauce and 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar; toss to combine. Cover and chill. To make the patties combine beef, 3/4 cup Gaucho sauce, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and egg yolks in a large bowl. Gently work the mixture to evenly distribute ingredients. Divide into 6 equal portions (about 3/4 cup each) and form into patties sized to fit rolls. Chill. When grill has reached the desired temperature follow manufacturers instructions to create an indirect grilling zone. Clean grill rack with a wire brush, then brush rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on side of the grill with indirect heat and cook, covered, for about 4 minutes per side. Turn off all burners. Put buns, cut side down, on the grill. Cover and warm for about 2 minutes. To assemble and serve, spread avocado mayonnaise on cut sides, top and bottom, of buns. Top with a pattie. Drain excess liquid from cucumbers then cover each pattie with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the cucumber spaghetti. Replace bun tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.


All portions of this recipe can be completed in about 30 minutes. The burgers can be prepared early in the day and refrigerated until ready to grill. The buns are a bit of an indulgence.  As summer progresses and heirloom tomatoes are ready for harvest we top these burger with pepper Jack cheese and sliced green tomatoes. The simple gaucho burger, so named because it's topped with next to nothing, becomes 'The Jolly Green Giant Burger' and it, too, is delicious and only slightly more involved.