RECIPES: Recipe Details

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South of Napa Burgers

I find that when I grill, I tend to gravitate to bold fresh flavors, probably due to growing up in southern California with its abundance of fresh produce. These juicy beef burgers are redolent with fresh mint, adobo seasoning and sun-dried tomatoes, and complemented with Guacamole de Frutas, an exceptional guacamole accented with tart green apple and tangerine.
A bottle of Sutter Home Zinfandel, with its bright, juicy flavor and hint of pepper and spice makes the perfect accompaniment to these burgers.


2 small California avocados, diced
1 tablespoon tangerine (or orange) juice
1/3 cup chopped green apple
2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion
1 seeded and minced chipotle (packed in adobo)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 cup drained and chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons adobo seasoning
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
Colavita Olive Oil, for brushing the grill rack and the rolls
6 (1/3-inch-thick) sweet onion slices
6 slices fresh mozzarella or queso fresco
6 Kaiser rolls, split


Preheat a gas grill to medium-hot or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill.

To make the Guacamole de Frutas: Combine avocado and tangerine juice, keep chunky.
Add apple, onion, chipotle, and salt. Cover and chill until ready to use.

To make the patties: Combine the chuck, sun-dried tomatoes, mint, adobo seasoning, and salt in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with 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. While the patties are cooking, place the onions on the grill rack and cook until golden brown and crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place the cheese slices on the patties during the last 3 minutes of grilling. Brush cut sides of rolls with oil and place, cut sides down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers: Spread an equal portion of the guacamole on each roll bottom, followed by a cheese-topped patty, and an equal portion of the grilled onions. Add the roll tops and serve.


Adobo seasoning (a mixture of onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, cumin and chili pepper) such as Goya brand is available at most well-stocked supermarkets.