Travel the world with burger toppings

Take a trip around the world when looking for ideas to top your hamburger this Memorial Day.

Take a trip around the world when looking for ideas to top your hamburger this Memorial Day.

Memorial Day weekend brings on burgers and grills.

Burgers are one of the most versatile sandwiches out there. The patty itself can be transformed in so many ways (marinated, stuffed, seasoned, etc.) but it’s the toppings that can take a burger from ordinary to extraordinary.

While we all love the “American Standard” — ketchup, mustard, American cheese and pickles — it’s fun to think outside the box and explore new flavors. Different ethnic cuisines lend themselves perfectly to topping your burger off right.

All these topping combinations are for one serving:

 First stop – Italy

Zesty Pesto and Tomato: 1 tablespoon basil or sundried tomato pesto plus 2 heirloom tomato slices plus 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese.

Caprese: 1 ounce fresh buffalo mozzarella plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 heirloom tomato slices plus 3 fresh basil leaves.

Pizza: 2 tablespoons marinara sauce plus 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella plus 4 slices turkey pepperoni plus 2 thin slices green pepper.

 Second stop — Greece

Cool Cucumber and Feta: 1 tablespoon chopped red onion plus 1 tablespoon chopped cucumber plus 2 tablespoons feta plus 2 tablespoons tzatziki sauce

Hummus: 1 tablespoon chopped tomato plus 1 tablespoon chopped cucumber plus 1 tablespoon crumbled feta plus 2 fresh mint leaves, chopped plus 3 sliced Kalamata olives plus 2 tablespoons roasted red pepper hummus.

 Third stop – India

Raita: 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt plus 2 tablespoons grated carrot plus 1/8 tsp. garam masala plus 2 fresh mint leaves, chopped plus ½ garlic clove, minced plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice plus pinch cayenne pepper plus pinch salt.

Spicy Chutney: ¼ cup store-bought mango chutney plus 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard plus 1 tablespoon olive oil plus ¼ tsp. ground ginger plus 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper.

 Fourth stop – Tropics

Mango Avocado Salsa: ¼ mango, peeled and diced plus ¼ avocado, peeled and diced plus 1 tsp. minced red onion plus ½ tsp. honey plus ½ tsp. fresh lime juice plus 1 teaspoon fresh- chopped cilantro.

Jamaican Jerk: 2 tablespoons finely diced pineapple plus 1 tsp. orange juice plus 1 teaspoon Jamaican Jerk seasoning plus ½ tsp. balsamic vinegar plus ½ tsp. soy sauce plus ½ clove garlic, minced.

 Last stop – Asia

Satay Sauce: 2 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter plus ½ tablespoon rice vinegar plus ½ tablespoon honey plus ½ teaspoon ground coriander plus 1 tsp. fresh-chopped cilantro plus pinch cayenne pepper.

Korean turkey burgers with kimchi

Serves 4

All you need

•1 pound 93 percent-lean ground turkey

•3 scallions, sliced

•8 teaspoons Korean chile paste, divided

•1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

•2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise

•4 small whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted

•12 slices English cucumber

•1 cup kimchi

All you do

1. Preheat grill to medium-high.

2. Combine turkey, scallions, 5 teaspoons chile paste and sesame oil in a medium bowl; gently knead together. Do not over-mix. Form into 4 burgers, about 4 inches wide.

3. Oil the grill rack. Grill the burgers until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Let rest for 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise and the remaining 3 teaspoons chile paste in a small bowl. Assemble the burgers on toasted buns with 2 teaspoons of the mayonnaise mixture, 3 slices cucumber and 1/4 cup kimchi each.

Source: Eating Well

Per serving: Calories 341, Total fat 12g, Saturated fat 3g, 67 mg cholesterol, Sodium 731 mg, Carbohydrate 33g, Fiber 5g, Protein 28g

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