There are so many ways to celebrate Memorial Day in the United States. As a day set aside to honor the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces, Memorial Day is treated as a day of remembrance and thanksgiving for their sacrifice. The federal holiday also offers a welcome day off work and school to mark the beginning of summer and of course, grilling! If you’re planning on hosting a cookout anytime this summer, offer your guests a burger bar full of creative toppings for a fun and delicious twist on the classic hamburger.
I put together this spread with the help of my friend Andrew, a master griller and closet Humble Foodie fan. He told me his dream was to get a shout out, so here you go! We enjoyed burgers served on butter lettuce with a spread of the following:
- Melissa Joulwan’s Sunshine Sauce: I’ve mentioned this before (like, twelve times), and I really can’t get enough of this stuff. It adds a phenomenal kick to anything from chicken satay to burgers.
- Caramelized red onions: Melt coconut oil or olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Thinly slice a red onion and add to hot oil. Simmer until onion softens and becomes translucent, then add a sprinkling of salt. Continue to cook on low heat, adding 1-2 tablespoons of water or an additional teaspoon of oil as needed. Onions are done when they are soft and taking on a caramel-brown color.
- Julienned carrots: All you need for these is a julienne peeler like this one. Don’t have one on hand? Grating the carrots yields similarly small strips.
- Sliced avocado: Easy peasy. Cut an avocado in half and remove the pit. Use a spoon to remove the flesh from the peel, then cut into thin slices.
- Sliced Roma tomato: wash, slice. Mm!
- Sriracha sauce
You can add plenty of other toppings so your guests can customize each burger to their own tastes. Here’s what we made.
Burger 1: Sunshine Sauce, caramelized red onions and julienned carrots
Burger 2: Tomato, avocado, and Sriracha
Burger 1: The works! Tomato, avocado, julienned carrots, caramelized red onions, and Sriracha
Burger 2: Sunshine Sauce and julienned carrots
We served our burgers with a spinach salad on the side and cinnamon-sprinkled plantains for dessert.
Spinach Salad: Homegrown spinach, sliced strawberries, julienned carrots, walnuts, and honey mustard vinaigrette dressing
Here’s to a summer of wonderful gatherings full of good food, family, and friends. Happy Memorial Day!