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This story is in partnership with National Cattlemen’s Beef Association on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions related to how delicious burgers are…are my own.

I love a delicious beef burger. I think everyone who makes that declaration innately has very specific opinions about the building of their own version of the perfect beef burger. For some, ketchup is the devil incarnate and they will only allow mustard to grace their bun. Some people like thick burgers and others like a thinner burger. But the absolute truth is that Americans love burgers. Statistically, they really do. I’ll show you the proof.

According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee scientific report, burgers and sandwiches are currently the number one source of protein, calcium, potassium and fiber in the American diet. They’re the number two source of whole grain, dairy, and vitamin D and if you can believe it, the number three source of vegetables. So what do we do? Embrace the burger as a vehicle for more nutritious toppings since we’re apparently eating an abundance of burgers.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still in love with a simple diner-style burger (juicy beef patty, ketchup, mustard, onion, pickle, lettuce). It was the only specific food “craving” I had during pregnancy. While this burger recipe has multiple layers that are a bit beyond a 101 level, I promise you this is a delight. We really pat ourselves on the back for this one. As a dietitian, I know that practical ways to improve an average diet are important.

Adding more nutrient-dense foods and condiments is wonderful, but these foods and condiments should also add flavor and texture. I’m realistic. While this tasty and satisfying beef burger can boast four types of vegetables, all of them really bring something to the plate.  A cooked 3 oz beef patty delivers 10 essential nutrients and only needs some simple seasoning before grilling, making it the perfect base for building your burger. On the side, no fries today. Instead, we’ve got an herb-packed tabbouleh reminiscent salad with cucumber and lots of lemon. The leftovers are amazing for lunch the next day.

Let’s talk about the layers in detail.

One often ignored, but crucial part of cooking for beginners is the lack of seasoning ingredients in a mixed dish (burger, sandwich, salad, you name it).

All beef patty: Just add a little salt and pepper, roasted garlic, and worcestershire sauce and you’ve got big-time umami flavors.

Whole grain bun: nutty, slightly sweet, warming…don’t skimp on the quality! Talk to your baker to find a good one.

Radicchio: Strong, slightly bitter flavor that pairs well with beef. Slightly crispy, it’s also an awesome color. If you aren’t someone who appreciates bitter flavor yet, swap this in for a crisp little gem lettuce.

Thinly sliced carrot matchsticks: A little sweet, a little crunch, carrots and beef are amazing together. That’s why beef stew is such a treasure.

Fennel slaw tossed in a celery seed dressing: Big fan of fennel, it appears all the time on the blog, but the zing it brings to a burger is beyond fantastic. The dressing is worth making and keeping in the fridge weekly.

Pickled radish: Pickles with the special tanginess they add, are an always food with juicy beef burgers.

Gorgonzola: Creamy, a little funk, a lot of flavor.

The Spring Roasted Garlic Beef Burger

INGREDIENTS

Burger:

  • 1 pound Ground Beef (85%)
  • 2 Tablespoons roasted garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper

Pickled Radish:

  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes

Celery Seed Dressing: (Makes a full batch)

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted whole mustard seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • a few grinds black pepper
  • 1/2 small shallot
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed

Additional Ingredients

  • 4 Whole Wheat Buns
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 small head radicchio or little gem lettuce
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly julienne cut

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, add burger patty ingredients. Mix by hand to ensure everything is combined, but not packed together.
  2. Divide into 4, 4-ounce balls and refrigerate, covered for an hour.
  3. To make radish pickles: Heat water and whisk in sugar and salt. Add vinegar and radishes. Set aside.
  4. To make dressing: Reserve half the apple cider vinegar and half the extra virgin olive oil and set aside. Add remaining ingredients to standing blender or immersion blender. Blend and with blender running, slowly pour in remaining oil and vinegar. Toss thinly sliced fennel with 3 tablespoons of dressing.
  5. To cook burgers: Shape each round into a patty shape with a slight dimple in the center. Heat a grill pan, or your outdoor grill to high and brush lightly with a neutral oil. Cook each side about 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160˚ F.
  6. To build burgers: Layer radicchio or little gem lettuce, carrot, burger patty, fennel slaw, and gorgonzola.

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