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The Garden State Burger with Grilled Corn Relish and Sweet Basil Aioli

Though I am now living in the Mid-South, I am a Jersey girl born and raised. I grew up in a rural area of Central New Jersey surrounded by farmland. Most of our summer meals included produce my mother picked up at a farm stand on the way home. I wanted to create a burger that would capture those memories and also give a nod to Italian cuisine found in abundance all over Jersey.


Grilled Corn Relish:

3 ears sweet corn
1 ½ Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
½ medium vidalia onion
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 scallion, sliced thin
½ Tbs. fresh thyme
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. cracked black pepper

Sweet Basil Aioli:

2 cloves garlic
½ c. sweet basil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 c. light mayonnaise


2 lbs. ground chuck
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ c. Sutter Home Pinot Grigio wine
½ Tbs. fennel seed
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper

6 soft kaiser rolls


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the relish, brush the corn and onion with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Place on grill rack and close lid. Grill corn for 6-8 minutes and onion for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally to allow for even cooking. Remove both from grill and allow to cool.

Once cool, cut the corn kernels off the cobs, place in a medium-sized mixing bowl and discard the cobs. Dice the grilled onion and add to bowl along with the tomato, green onion, thyme, vinegar, salt, pepper and remaining olive oil. Mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To make the aioli, place garlic and basil in a small food processor and process until fine. Add lemon juice and mayonnaise and process until smooth and well combined. Place sauce in small bowl and set aside.

To make the patties, combine the chuck, garlic, Worcestershire, wine, fennel seed, onion powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the buns. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable 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. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, spread equal amounts of aioli over the cut sides of the buns. Place a grilled patty on each bottom of bun and top with the corn relish. Add top of bun to burger and serve.

Makes 6 burgers