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Sassy Sun-Dried tomato Portobella Burgers

I love to cook and try new ideas. I am not always good at following recipes, I tend to add or subtract ingedients depending on what I actually have in the pantry. I learned this from my mother and it seems to work well for me. Recently when my in-laws were visiting, we wanted to have burgers. As usual just patties wouldn't do for me, I had to "kick it up". I had all of these ingredients on hand just started adding them together. It was a success. Even my 13 year old twin boys love them, and they wouldn't willingly eat a vegetable if I paid them. My husband say the ad for this contest in "Cooking Light" magazine and suggested I submit these burgers. So, here you are. Hope you all enjoy them and maybe we will meet each other in September.


1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
4oz sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
2 garlic cloves minced
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 Tbs toasted pine nuts
3/4 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbs Zinfandel wine
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. Butter
1 small leak, white part only, quartered and thinly sliced
4 oz baby portobella mushrooms coarsely chopped
4 oz sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and coarsely chopped.
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup Zinfandel
1/2 tsp. grey salt (or sea salt)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
2 pounds ground meat (80/20)
1/2 tsp. grey salt (or sea salt)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbs. Zinfandel
Vegetable oil to brush grill
Fresh Spinach leaves
6 Onion or Kaiser rolls sliced in half


Start the grill to preheat to about 500 degrees. Gently mix beef, grey salt, pepper, and Zinfandel in bowl. Cover, set aside. To prepare the pesto, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic cloves, parmesan chees and toasted pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse a few times to chop and mix. Turn on fully, and slowly add the olive oil until smooth. Add Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside. To make the vegetable sautee, place a skillet on the grill. Add the olive oil and butter. When the oil is hot and the butter is melted add the leak and mushrooms. Sautee for 4 minutes,stirring ocaisionally. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic, sautee for another 3 minutes, again stirring ocaisionally. Pour in the Zinfandel and let it reduce until about 3/4 of the wine has evaporated. Mix in the cayenne pepper, grey salt and black pepper. Taste. If necessary add more salt and/or pepper. Let mixture cool about 5 minutes. Combine the beef mixture and the vegetable saute. Make 6 equal patties. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Place patties on the grill, close lid of grill. Cook, 6-8 minutes per side for medium, turning the patties only once. At the last minute lightly toast the rolls cut side down on the grill. To assemble the burgers, spread some pesto on the bottom of the roll, put 7 or 8 spinach leaves on top of the pesto, put the burger on the spinach, and then about 1 Tbs. of pesto on the burger. Put the roll top on and enjoy with a glass of Zinfandel.


I think these burgers are easy to make and quite tasty, and they look and taste a bit sophisticated at the same time. I hope all of you feel the same way. This is the first contest I have ever entered, and the whole process, testing and retesting and having friends and family taste and comment has been alot of fun. Of course I would love to be in California in September and hopefully win, but it has just been a blast so far.