Burger alternative

It would probably be improper or unwise for me to admit that I don’t like to read the newspaper.  I find it a peculiar form of torture to wade through pages of strife and bad news while not letting the whole venture ruin your day. 

However, I won’t give up our newspaper subscription just yet.  If I did, I might miss the fabulous gems in Pam Anderson’s occasional (is it monthly?) article in the USA Weekend magazine insert in the Sunday paper.  I’m a big fan of Ms. Anderson’s.  Her book How to Cook Without a Book was pivotal in developing my confidence as a cook.  I’ve recommended and gifted that book countless times.

Her article in last Sunday’s paper offered alternatives to the standard hamburger and featured an herbed salmon burger and a turkey burger.  We’d been out of town for the weekend. Once we got home midafternoon, a trip to the grocery store was the last thing on my mind.  I needed something I could make with what I had on hand, and between the garden and the freezer, I had everything I needed to make those salmon burgers!

I used four small-ish frozen salmon filets, fresh herbs from the garden, and some pantry staples to create this perfectly light summer dinner.  Some lightly dressed greens and garden-fresh cucumbers and onions rounded out our plates. The kids didn’t care much for the sauce, but the burgers were juicy enough that they really didn’t need much else. 

The burgers were beautiful (wish I had thought to take pictures!) and so tasty.  These are definitely on my short list for quick grilled favorites!

Herbed Salmon Burgers with Lemon Tartar Sauce

from Pam Anderson at USA Weekend

1½ lb. skinless salmon filet, finely chopped

¼ c. chopped fresh parsley, divided

2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill

7 scallions, thinly sliced, divided (I used a bit less here, for the benefit of the kids…)

2 ½ tsp. finely grated lemon zest, divided

12 saltines, finely crumbled

1 large egg, beaten

½ tsp. salt

1 Tbs. olive oil

¾ c. light mayonnaise

¼ c. drained, chopped capers

6 whole-wheat sandwich buns

4 tsp. lemon juice

Thoroughly mix salmon, 2 Tbs. parsley, dill, 6 scallions, 2 tsp. lemon zest, crackers, egg and salt in a medium bowl.  Form into 4 to 6 patties.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

Preheat gas grill for about 10 minutes with all burners on high.  Clean the grill rack with a wire brush, then use tongs to swipe a vegetable-oil-soaked rag over the rack. (I, uh, skipped this step.  Our grill is ancient well-seasoned and, well, I didn’t want to bother.  Burgers came out just fine.)

Brush burgers with oil; place on hot rack. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until nicely browned.  Grill buns until spotty.  (Watch them!  They cook fast!)

Meanwhile, mix mayo, capers, lemon juice, and the remaining herbs, scallion and zest.

To serve, spread a bit of sauce over the grilled bun pieces and top with burger and lettuce and tomato, if desired.

The kids didn’t care for the sauce, but the burgers were juicy enough that they really didn’t need much else.

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