The weather is warming up and the smell of grilling is wafting through the neighbourhood. It’s burger season.
There is no consensus over when or where the hamburger was invented, but it seems to have popped up in the late 19th or early 20th century in the US (although similar foods existed in Europe previous to that). That means we’ve had over one hundred years to come up with burger variations.
The best part about burgers is how customizable they are – you can make a burger out of any ground meat, poultry, or even fish. You can have meat-free burgers made of just about any plant you can imagine. There are gluten-free buns for the gluten intolerant, and bun-free burgers for the bun intolerant. Any diet or food trend you can think of, you can find a burger recipe to match. Vegan burger, paleo burger, ketogenic burger, Halal burger – there is something for everyone.
The toppings offer even more variation – I would bet that at some point literally every food item has been incorporated into a burger. Chocolate-covered bacon burger anyone? The burger is like a blank canvas, just waiting for you to make it your own.
This burger season I am going to suggest you try a burger topped with sauerkraut (or its spicy cousin, kimchi). The fermented cabbage will give your meal a nutritional boost, thanks to the friendly bacteria called lactobacilli, which aid in digestion and promote healthy gut flora. It will also add a punch of flavour and crunch.
Try pairing sauerkraut with thousand island dressing (mayo+ketchup+pickle relish), and swiss cheese or Emmental on your burger for a spin on a Reuben sandwich.
For a Kimchi burger, try a heavier bread like a pretzel bun, spread with mayo and gochujang (or chili garlic sauce), topped with spring mix lettuce.
If that’s not up your alley, we have a variety of burger recipes on SPUD.ca: