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10 ways to tart up a basic burger

Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(AP photo)
From left, The Thai, The Eggplant Parm, and The New Yorker burgers are shown.

Whether you're grilling a standard beef burger, a bison patty, a chicken breast or even a humble portobello mushroom cap, it's time to move beyond the basic adornments of ketchup and a slice of cheese. And adding pickles and tomatoes — even artisanal and heirloom specimens — doesn't count.

To help you make this a summer of way better burgers, we dreamed up 10 fresh ways to dress them that will be easy and delicious, no matter what they are made of.

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— THE FIGGY PIGGY BLUE

Fig jam

Crumbled blue cheese

Prosciutto or serrano ham

— THE EGGPLANT PARM

Sliced fresh mozzarella

Sliced grilled eggplant

Sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed)

— THE BACK WOODS

Cranberry sauce

Extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Applewood smoked bacon

Coarse grain brown mustard

— THE THAI

Sliced avocado

Spicy peanut sauce (2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, splash of hot sauce)

Sliced red onion

Fresh cilantro

— THE NEW YORKER

Pastrami

Caramelized onions

Horseradish sauce

Swiss cheese

— THE MEDITERRANEAN

Sliced roasted red peppers

Olive tapenade

Feta cheese

Fresh basil

— THE INDIAN

Naan (in place of a bun)

Potato chips sprinkled with curry powder

Baby spinach

— HEUVOS RANCHEROS

Fried egg (with a runny yolk)

Salsa

Monteray Jack cheese

Crisped bacon or chorizo

— THE CAESAR

Toasted garlic bread (in place of a bun)

Chopped romaine lettuce tossed with Caesar dressing

Shaved Parmesan cheese

Anchovies (if you dare)

— THE DRAGON

Sriracha sauce

Pickled jalapenos

Pepper jack cheese

Pepperoni

Freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns

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