Tuscan Lamb Burgers with Buffalo Mozzarella, Rocket & Salsa Verde

Wine Varietal: Merlot

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Ingredients:

Patties:
2 lbs. ground lamb
½ cup grated yellow onion
1/3 cup minced sundried tomatoes
3 cloves minced garlic
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon black pepper

Salsa Verde:
1 cup fresh Italian parsley
1 cup fresh mint
1 cup fresh Italian basil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon capers
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup EVOO

Balsamic Glazed Red Onions:
1 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
2 large red onions, sliced into 1/3-inch rings
2 tablespoons olive oil

Vegetable oil for brushing grill rack
12 ounces buffalo mozzarella cheese, sliced (can substitute cow’s milk mozzarella)
6 ciabatta rolls, split
1 cup loosely packed baby rocket (baby arugula) leaves

Instructions:

Prepare a medium-hot fire on a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high.
To make the patties, combine the ground lamb, onion, sundried tomatoes, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Form into 6 patties, being careful not to overwork the meat. Make a slight indentation in the center of the patties so that they will cook evenly. Cover and refrigerate.
To make the salsa verde, place the parsley, mint, basil, vinegar, garlic, capers, mustard, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper together in a mini food processor or blender. Pulse until chopped. Add the olive oil and process until blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Heat the balsamic vinegar in a small, fireproof, heavy saucepan on the grill. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Let vinegar simmer until it is reduced by half, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Return heat to medium high. Brush the onion slices with the olive oil and place them on the grill. Grill 2-3 minutes on each side until slightly softened. Remove from grill and place on a plate. Separate the rings and brush them with the balsamic reduction. Set aside.
Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the burger patties on the rack, cover, and cook 4-6 minutes on each side for medium doneness. Place a slice of buffalo mozzarella on each patty during the last 3 minutes of grilling. Place the ciabatta rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.
To assemble the burgers, place an equal amount of baby rocket leaves on each bun bottom and place the cheese-topped patties on top. Arrange some balsamic glazed onions on the patties. Spread some salsa verde on each bun top. Add bun tops and serve.
This recipe makes 6 burgers.