Try Topping This: Building Hamburgers with Local Ingredients
It's the last hurrah for summer cookouts and what better way to say farewell than with hamburgers on the grill. Patties are a blank slate, ready to take on any combination of toppings.
Here are ideas for hamburgers festooned with local fixings. Each one calls for your favorite buns and beef patties, unless otherwise noted.
Upgrade a classic burger starting with onions buns from Scholars Inn Bakehouse in Bloomington (scholarsinn.com). The Bakehouse serves its own burgers on these buns, which are now for sale as a bakery item. Up next is ketchup from LocalFolks Foods, a homemade-tasting, textured variety without high-fructose corn syrup ($5.50, localfolksfoods.com). Deck out the burger with lettuce, onion and tomato from the farmers' market, then finish with an Indiana classic: hamburger dills from Sechler's Pickles, made in St. Joe in the northeast part of the state ($4.15, gourmetpickles.com).
The magic in this burger lies in the bun – a pretzel bun, to be exact, from A Taste of Philly bakery ($1 each, indypretzel.com), toasted and lined with Hard Working Grain Mustard from Farm Bloomington ($5.50, farm-bloomington.com)
Top the burger with caramelized onions and a melted drape of Jegerlehner Swiss cheese from The Swiss Connection of Clay City ($11.50 per pound, swissconnectioncheese.com).
Give your next cookout a Greek spin with this burger, named after a goddess of agriculture. Instead of beef, this one calls for Viking lamb patties, butchered and ground at Goose the Market (vikinglamb.com, goosethemarket.com). Top with Goose's house-cured olives, feta from Swissland Cheese Co. of Berne ($6.50, swisslandcheese.com) and layers of sliced cucumber and onion from the farmers' market. Whip up a quick tzatziki using Traders Point Creamery's plain yogurt ($5, tpforganics.com). Add chopped cucumber and minced garlic and dill to the yogurt for the perfect sauce that unites all of the toppings.
When the three toppings on this burger unite, the flavor reminds us of something we'd eat on vacation. Top the patty with a fried egg sourced from the farmers' market and a fan of avocado slices (no, they're not grown locally, but we'll make an exception for this irresistible summer staple).
For some heat, heap on a couple spoonfuls of Fermenti Artisan's curtido, a finely shredded mix of fermented cabbage, carrots, onions, chiles and cilantro ($8, facebook.com/fermentiartisan). Fermenters Mark Cox and Joshua Henderson source from their urban farm to make this spicy slaw.