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

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

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

Savory-Spicy
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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