Spring has sprung, and summer is just around the corner. Burgers are definitely one of those all-year-round foods, but even everyday favorites can use a little freshening-up every now and then. Check out these ideas for incorporating spring and summer twists into your burger menu:
Spotlight Seasonal Produce
- Take advantage of asparagus season by mixing coarsely-chopped grilled asparagus with something creamy (mayo, cream cheese, boursin, chevre, etc.) along with a dollop of grated or prepared horseradish. Use this to slather on the bun, then add crispy bacon and sauteed red onion.
- Top an open-face burger with a delicate but flavorful salad featuring baby arugula, baby spring greens, cilantro leaves, fresh dill, basil, chives and flat-leaf parsley dressed in a lemon-and-shallot vinaigrette.
- Add fried okra to your hickory cheeseburger!
Get Spicy With It
- Add a layer of grilled jalapeno sausage and serve on thick Texas toast like a patty melt.
- Use spicy Thai green papaya salad to top a burger — delish on beef, lamb, turkey or shrimp patties!
- Add Mexican-style chorizo, a creamy/melty cheese like Oaxaca, and roasted hot peppers (Hatch, jalapenos, poblanos, you pick!).
- When tomatoes are at their peak, try a spin on a caprese salad, using thick slices of tomato and slider-sized patties layered with basil leaves and mozzarella. Season well and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Make a Caesar Burger with romaine, shaved Parmesan and Caesar dressing.
- Do a Nicoise burger with grilled tuna, greens, grilled haricot verts and olive relish, and serve it on a potato bun with some garlicky aioli on the side.
House-made Pickles Are Everything
Even the simplest burger is elevated with pickled… something:
- Cucumbers (obviously), but also
- Red onion
- Green tomatoes
Sauce It Up
Use one of your favorite fancy (or not so fancy) sauces to garnish your burger, like:
- Béarnaise (yes, please)
- Pesto — any kind!
- Hollandaise (Burger Benedict, anyone?)
Get Creative with Special Diet Options
- Gluten-free: check out GF buns, or use collards as a wrap.
- Vegetarian: Use quinoa to add texture to a bean-based patty. (Don’t forget those house-made pickles!)
- Vegan: BBQ tofu topped with a vinegar-spiked cucumber slaw and crispy onion rings.
- Paleo: Beef patty topped with avocado slices, fried parsnip chips and chopped bacon.