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Creative Burger Toppings

Q. What are your favorite creative burger toppings? I’m looking for something more unique than just cheese and ketchup to impress my guests at grill-outs. — Berry, Menasha

A. I like this question because most of us grew up putting ketchup on everything! I’m a big fan of relishes prepared with raw ingredients. In addition to the obvious pickle relishes, consider a savory pico de gallo with onions, tomatoes, cilantro, peppers and a hint of citrus for your hamburger. How about a chunky homemade guacamole with avocados, tomatoes, onions and a touch of cumin on a pork burger? This might be a good opportunity for the under-utilized and readily-available radish. Consider thinly shaved white or red radishes combined with a little cabbage and grated carrots drizzled with red wine vinegar for a zesty radish slaw. Another idea might be a fruit salsa or chutney with a nice balance of sweet and tangy flavors. Perhaps some diced Door County cherries with a little honey and jalapeño peppers for a nice sweet/spicy balance that would go well on a chicken breast or turkey burger? One of my family favorites is to make lamb burgers and top them with plain yogurt mixed with red onion, tomato, cucumber and garlic. The flavor combinations are really endless as long as the topping compliments the primary flavor of the burger itself.

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