Tickets have officially gone on sale for one of our all-time favorite events of the year– our kick-off to summer, our celebration after a month of non-stop hard work, our day of total and complete overindulgence: REAP Food Group’s Burgers & Brews!!!
And even though it’s still a little over a month away, I’m already dreaming of eating copious amounts of delicious burgers at Capital Brewery while listening to bluegrass music and sipping on some of my favorite local beverages.
I have so many fond memories of this event— typically preceded by a mad race to get hundreds of tomatoes into the ground before the fun begins. I don’t know why every single year we are busting our asses to get a whole tomato field planted in six hours but that seems to be the theme. And honestly, it makes the burgers taste so much better and the lounging feel so much more well-deserved.
We sip and we mingle, we share and we giggle. We lounge and we snack, running into so many CSA members, chefs and friends. We sample new products. We meet new friends. We hang out in a space where we feel deeply connected and feel grateful for the local food scene we get to be a part of. It’s truly a joyous part of each and every farming season, and this year will be extra special as I attend for the first time as an official board member of REAP Food Group (I get sworn in on May 14th)!
So in honor of this beloved annual event, I’m so excited to share my own burger recipe for those who either don’t live in the greater Madison area or who won’t have time to join us in person.
Burgers are an essential part of our spring and summer life. Quick. Easy. Calorie-dense. Protein-packed. Simple to source. All things we need desperately when we’re working our minds and bodies around the clock.
We make burgers almost every week once things really start grinding, and honestly, they’re usually pretty uninventive. We have our classic topping combination– mayo, ketchup, mustard, greens, dill pickles for my Carrot, sweet & spicy pickles for me, occasionally some bacon or grilled onions when we are feeling fancy–and we rarely deviate.
But from time to time, it’s fun to go a little overboard– to look in the pantry, see what veggies we have on hand (if any), and figure out how to add them to our weekly burger. With this particular burger, I really wanted to celebrate the fresh brightness of the first spring chives of the season and pair that freshness with something crunchy and fried. With the addition of microgreens, it’s a real mountain of a burger but we’re certainty not complaining. I hope you enjoy and I really hope you consider joining us on June 1st at REAP’s amazing Burgers & Brew event!
And if you can’t make it, perhaps pair this beautiful burger with my favorite brew of the moment: the Wild Apple Cider from Brix in Mount Horeb.
All of my local foodshed love,
BURGERS WITH CRISPY SWEET POTATOES & CHIVE SHALLOT YOGURT SAUCE
Takes 1 hour (if making the shallot dip day of; 30 minutes if shallot dip is already made)
1/2 batch caramelized shallot dip (I still highly recommend making the whole thing and eating the rest throughout the week)
1 very large sweet potato (about 2 pounds) or 2 smaller sweet potatoes, spiralized or cut into matchsticks
1 bunch chives, thinly sliced
1 pound ground beef, divided into four patties by hand
4 favorite buns, toasted
Spicy micro greens mix
- If your caramelized shallot dip isn’t already made, begin with this recipe. You can easily fry your sweet potatoes while caramelizing your shallots to be a little extra efficient.
- Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until oil reaches 400 degrees. Reduce temperature to medium once the oil is hot.
- Drop spiralized sweet potatoes gently into the hot oil a batch at a time (it took me four batches to get them all fried) and fry until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and add a few pinches of salt. Repeat until all sweet potato spirals have been fried.**
- Combine half of your prepared shallot dip with chives and stir to combine. Put the other half of the shallot dip in the fridge for another use.
- Prepare your burgers to your preference (skillet or charcoal grill are our favorites). Season with salt while cooking. Let rest for five minutes before putting onto the bun.
- Add a couple generous spoonfuls of chive shallot yogurt sauce to each bun. Followed by a pile of the fried sweet potato fries and the burger patty. Top with abundant microgreens. Eat immediately.
**Warning: this will make a lot of spiralized curly fries. If we’re going to the trouble of frying, we tend to do a lot. They store well for a couple days or you could eat them on the side of your burger or you could eat this as an appetizer.