RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Fresh ground sirloin steak mixed with sautéed crimini mushrooms and shallots add a nutty flavor to this burger and the robust flavor of the avocado basil pesto smeared over the burger the final minutes of grilling is the ideal compliment to the sirloin. Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and a slice of heirloom tomato top off the burger and a Italian Kaiser roll holds everything together.


1/2 ripe California avocado-peeled and diced
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice-divided
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves (packed)-no stems
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf Italian parsley-no stems
1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped roasted salted whole almonds
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
3 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
6 ounces chopped fresh crimini mushrooms
1-3/4 pounds boneless top sirloin steak
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
6 Italian Kaiser rolls-split
3 ounces shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
6 (1/4-inch thick) slices yellow heirloom tomatoes


To prepare pesto, coarsely mash the avocado in a small bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon lime juice and stir together; set aside. In a food processor fitted with a blade, combine remaining lime juice, basil, tarragon, parsley, garlic, almonds and cheese. Process until mixture is coarse, scraping down side. Slowly add olive oil through top of the processor, while the motor is running and until well blended. Add mixture to bowl with avocado; stir together with a fork to combine and season with salt and pepper. Cover until needed. Preheat a gas grill to medium-high or a charcoal grill with cover to medium-hot. To prepare patties, heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high grill heat. Add shallots to skillet and sauté, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté, stirring until mushrooms are lightly browned. Remove from grill; transfer mixture to a large bowl-spread mixture out to cool. While mixture is cooling, chunk steak into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Using same food processor with blade or meat grinder, process meat in four batches until coarsely chopped. Transfer steak to bowl of cooled mushroom mixture; gently mix together until blended-handling as little as possible. Form 6 patties, making an indentation in center of each patty. Sprinkle salt over both sides of patties. Brush vegetable oil over grill rack. Place patties on grill rack and cook covered 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium or to desired doneness, smearing a generous amount of pesto over each patty the final few minutes of grilling. Transfer patties to a plate. Place rolls cut side down over direct heat until lightly toasted-watch. To assemble, place a patty on roll bottom, top with shaved cheese and a slice of tomato. Cover with roll top.


My choice of wine with this burger is Sutter Home Pinot Noir. I prefer the Italian Kaiser roll or a gourmet type Italian round roll for this burger and shaved (rather than melted) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese- more flavorful!