Weekday inspiration: Five days, five different burgers
Buy prepared guacamole and mix it with seeded and diced tomatoes. Scoop it onto a patty with melted pepper Jack cheese. Add a slice of red onion and an ice-cold leaf of Romaine.
Adorn your burger with tzatziki sauce, thinly sliced cucumbers and onions plus feta cheese crumbles. To make the tzatziki, blend or process 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 peeled, seeded and diced cucumber, 1 tablespoon each olive oil and lemon juice, salt, pepper, some chopped fresh dill and 2 small minced garlic cloves. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Smear the bottom half of the bun with a grainy mustard. Make sure the patty is big and juicy before you layer on slices of extra sharp cheddar cheese. Make a quick slaw of julienned Granny Smith apples mixed with thinly sliced red onion and dress with olive oil, lemon juice, a bit of maple syrup, salt and pepper and a couple of shakes of ground sage. Mound the slaw on the burger.
Barbecue Bacon Burger
Garnish cooked patty with Sweet Corn Relish (recipe at left) and crisp bacon, tomato and lettuce. Drizzle with barbecue sauce.
You won't want much to compete with the tangy blue cheese crumbles melting on the hot patty, but mellow it all with some caramelized onions and mayonnaise spread on the bun. A tangle of peppery arugula is an interesting touch. If you don't want to go there, use ice-cold lettuce if for no other reason than the crunch.
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Sweet Corn Relish
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups corn kernels, fresh cooked or frozen and thawed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Whisk the oil and vinegar together in a large bowl. Season with the salt and black pepper.
Stir in the corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, onion and fresh basil. Cover the relish and chill overnight.
Makes 3 cups.
n Bonus burger toppings
Caramelized Red Onion Relish
2 tablespoons high-quality olive oil
2 red onions, cut in half and sliced 1/4 inch thin
2 red bell peppers
1 ear of corn
10 ounces grape tomatoes, cut in half and each half cut into thirds
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat and add onion. Cook until soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. Place bell peppers and ear of corn in the skillet and cook until charred on all sides. Remove peppers to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for 10 minutes. Let the corn cool until you can handle it easily. Peel the peppers over a clean bowl, catching any juices. Seed the peppers, cut into rough ¼-inch dice, and transfer to bowl with the pepper juice. Slice kernels from cob and add them to the peppers. Chop onions into a rough dice, reserving ½ cup for patties. Add the remaining onions to the pepper and corn mixture. Add the tomatoes, parsley and salt and toss. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Peppered Tomato Mayonnaise
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons high-quality tomato paste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To make the mayonnaise, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to blend well. Cover and refrigerate until assembling the burgers.