Three Bitty Burgers

I’m not a vegetarian, but over the years, I’ve found myself cooking less and less meat. I don’t love the process, I don’t love worrying so much about safety, and frankly, I don’t love how boring some meat-focused meals can feel. (I’m the girl who orders four side dishes and no meat at the steakhouse.) But ground beef has always been a bit of an exception. I like burgers, I like chili, and I like that I can tell when the meat is done without a lot of stress.

After making cabbage rolls, I found myself with 1/3 of a pound of ground beef left over — perfect for a night when I was cooking only for myself. I hit on the idea of sliders pretty early, figuring I’d drag out all the spices and toppings I could think of and play things by ear.

Three bitty burgers

I ended up with these three bitty burgers: one classic-with-a-twist, one Mediterranean-inspired, and one savory-spicy.

Here’s the breakdown:

Classic with a Twist
In the patty
Ground beef
Garlic powder
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

On the bun
Stone-ground mustard
Homemade pickled onions

In the patty
Ground beef
Feta cheese
Greek seasoning
Salt and pepper

On the bun
Trader Joe’s artichoke and red pepper spread

In the patty
Ground beef
Penzey’s Smoky 4s, aka my crack
Sweet-hot mustard
Salt and pepper

On the bun
Smoked gouda
Champagne mustard (…yeah, I have a lot of mustard)
Baby spinach
Sun-dried tomatoes

I had the highest hopes for the Mediterranean, and the feta in the patty worked well, but I liked the classic one the best. It tasted juiciest, which surprised me considering it was up against a burger that was about half mustard, and pickled onions just make everything more delicious.

Each served on 1/3 of a Dutch Crunch sandwich roll with oven-baked potato wedges, a side of sauteed spinach, and a few of the pickles I made the other week and don’t love (I think the problem was the cloves in the pickling spice; should’ve gone straight-up dill).

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