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Taste of Tuscany Burger with a Hint of Mint

I have spent quite a bit of my life in Italy, and have always loved Italian cooking and the way they use the right spices to bring out the wonderful flavors of foods. I have been particularly fond of the combined flavor of rosemary and garlic used in Tuscan grilled meats and roasts. The memory of these flavors is what inspired the recipe for my burger.

My time in Italy also exposed me to many great zucchini dishes. Zucchini has become one of my favorite vegetable sides to my meat dishes, and adding a few thick slices of grilled zucchini became the perfect accompaniment to my burger due to its unique flavor and texture. I’ve also enjoyed the taste of mint with meats and vegetables, which inspired my mint-mayo which truly completes the burger. I hope you will enjoy this burger as much as my family did.


1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1 teaspoon salt
5 slices of bacon chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup Sutter Home chardonnay
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
8 fresh large sage leaves chopped
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil
3 medium sized zucchini
1/4 cup Colavita extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
4 teaspoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
6 good-quality soft wheat hamburger buns, split


Prepare Patties: Combine ground chuck and salt in a large bowl, set aside. In a small food processor, combine bacon, garlic, chardonnay, rosemary, sage, pepper and olive oil. Pulse in food processor for 15 seconds, use a knife to scrape sides and stir mixture, and pulse for 15 more seconds. Put mixture from food processor in bowl with ground chuck and use hands to combine all ingredients. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and shape into 6 patties to fit bun size. Let patties sit for 15 minutes.

Prepare Zucchini: Cut zucchini vertically in half and then cut each half in half horizontally, place cut zucchini in large plastic zipper bag. Mix olive oil and salt in a small bowl and pour in bag with zucchini. Close bag and shake to evenly distribute oil mixture over zucchini. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat gas grill to medium high. While grill is heating prepare mint-mayo.

Mint-mayo: Combine garlic, mint, olive oil, lemon and mayonnaise in small food processor and pulse for 10 seconds. Transfer mixture to small bowl and stir.

Grilling: When grill is ready, place zucchini on grill, cover and cook for 16 minutes turning after 8 minutes. Remove zucchini from grill and set aside. Place patties on grill, cover and cook 9 – 10 minutes turning once half way through. During last minute of cooking add buns, cut side down, to outer edges of grill rack.

To assemble burgers: Place one patty on bun bottom, top with 2 pieces of zucchini, evenly spread mint mayo onto top half of buns and place top bun on top of zucchini. Serve immediately. Makes 6 burgers