Enjoy spring break with fresh takes on the burger

    It’s my last column of Winter Quarter, and you know what that means. No, I’m not cooking you a free dinner. It means Spring Break! Well, almost.

    I hope you’re lucky enough to be heading somewhere warm this break. After all, what’s better than a beach barbecue? But even if you’re stuck somewhere cold, you can get a hot oven to make mouth-watering burgers all break long.

    While there’s nothing like sinking your teeth into a juicy burger with all the fixings, it’s nice to put a new spin on an old classic. Burgers are one of the most versatile foods out there, and being creative with your toppings allows you to experiment in your kitchen and keep your stomach happy. Not to mention, burgers are always a crowd-pleaser, so the next time you entertain, surprise your guests with these kicked-up creations.

    I now introduce you to…

    The falafel burger

    Photo by sfllaw on flickr, licensed under the Creative Commons.

    What you’ll need:

    • 2 lbs. ground beef
    • Half an onion, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
    • 4 pita pockets
    • Hummus for 4 pitas
    • 1 cup of feta cheese
    • 8 thick slices of tomato
    • 4 large lettuce leaves


    1. Put the ground beef in a bowl. Add the onions, garlic and oregano, and salt and pepper for taste. Mix the ingredients together and form the mixture into 12 mini patties.
    2. Place the patties on a very hot nonstick pan. Cook for two to three minutes on one side, flip, and then cook for another two to three minutes.
    3. While your patties are cooking, assemble your pitas. Open each pita pocket and spread a generous layer of hummus on one side.
    4. Top the hummus with two tomato slices, one lettuce leaf and 1/4 cup of feta cheese.
    5. Once they have finished cooking, place three burgers per pita atop the other ingredients, roll your pita to seal in the ingredients, and it’s ready to eat!

    The better bacon burger

    A bacon cheeseburger is one of my favorite kinds of burgers, but it’s frustrating to eat. There is never enough bacon to get a taste of it in every bite. and it never sits just right atop the cheeseburger. My solution: Put the bacon inside the burger.

    Photo by sfllaw on stu_spivack, licensed under the Creative Commons.

    What you’ll need:

    • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
    • 1 cup cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
    • 8 slices of bacon, chopped
    • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
    • 4 thick slices of red onion
    • Your favorite barbecue sauce


    1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, cheese and bacon. Mix until the bacon and cheese are evenly distributed, and add salt and pepper to taste.
    2. Form the beef into four patties and cook according to the directions given in step 2 for the falafel burger.
    3. While your patties cook, slather a generous amount of barbecue sauce on each hamburger bun.
    4. Top each bun with a burger and a slice of red onion. Time to chow down!

    A tribute to Italia

    There’s something about the combination of burgers and pesto that makes me swoon. Maybe it’s just that I’m addicted to pesto. Whatever the case, if you want to try a tasty new burger creation, give this recipe a shot.

    Photo by Ack Ook on flickr, licensed under the Creative Commons.

    What you’ll need:

    • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
    • 1 tablespoon of dried basil
    • 8 slices of toasted ciabatta bread, sliced about ½ inch thick
    • 8 slices of fresh mozzarella
    • 1 cup of roasted red peppers
    • Basil pesto sauce


    • Combine the beef, garlic, parmesan cheese, basil, and salt and pepper in a large bowl until fully mixed.
    • Form into four patties and cook until done (follow directions in step 2 of falafel burgers).
    • While the patties cook, spread pesto on the toasted bread and top with two slices of mozzarella, 1/4 cup of roasted red peppers and then, of course, the burger. Chow Italia!

    The next time you’re in a burger rut, or just wishing you were somewhere warm having a barbecue, spice it up with these recipes! I promise you and your taste buds a good time.


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