This month marks the official start of summer, and with the rising temperatures and longer days, perhaps you’re finding more opportunities to enjoy a simple backyard barbecue by the pool.
When it comes to cooking in the summertime, we are all about easy grilling recipes and simple side dishes for weeknight dinners and stress-free summer gatherings alike.
When planning a menu, remember this mantra: It doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious. This month we’ve revamped two of the quintessential summer staples for you, taking the classic burger and fries and giving them a nutrition and flavor upgrade.
Brioche buns work really nicely here, but any hamburger bun will do. You could skip the bun and serve these burgers on a bed of butter lettuce for a no-carb option.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- 1 pound ground turkey
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 4 slices provolone or Swiss cheese
- 4 hamburger buns
- 4 leaves butter lettuce
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 beefsteak or heirloom tomato, sliced
- Ketchup, mustard
In a small saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, green onions and garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until just browned, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.
Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the apple.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated apple, ground turkey, a pinch of salt and pepper, and thyme leaves. Add the cooked celery mixture and stir everything together until well blended.
Form the mixture into 4 patties, each about 1 1/2 inches thick, and keep them covered in the refrigerator until ready to grill. About 10 minutes before grilling, pull the patties out of the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature.
Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Cook the burgers for 5 minutes on each side. They are done when the interior reaches 175 F on an instant-read thermometer. If you’re adding cheese, put a slice of cheese on top of each patty in the last minute of cooking time to allow it to melt.
Transfer the patties to a serving platter and cover loosely with foil.
Grill or toast the buns. Spread each side of the bun with your favorite condiment and build your burgers, layering each with slices of lettuce, tomato, onion and a burger patty. Serve immediately.
Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges
Choose sweet potatoes that are similar in size to ensure even cooking time. While any variety of sweet potato will work, we like the ones with orange flesh for this recipe.
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of chipotle chile powder
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 F. Scrub the sweet potatoes with a clean sponge under running water, pat dry, and cut each one into 8 wedges of even size.
Place the wedges on a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with olive oil until well coated. Sprinkle with paprika, garlic powder, chile powder, rosemary and a generous amount of salt and pepper and toss again to coat. Spread the wedges out in a single layer without letting them overlap; this will help them get crispy on the outside.
Place them in the upper third of the oven and roast for 30–35 minutes total. Halfway through the cooking time, remove the baking sheet from the oven and use a spatula to flip the wedges over, then place them back in the oven to finish cooking. When they’re finished, the outside of the wedges should be crisp and have some dark spots.
Remove from oven, transfer wedges to a serving platter, and sprinkle with a few more pinches of salt. Serve with your favorite condiment for dipping.