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Blue cheeseburgers with grilled onions and peppers

A good bun, melted blue cheese, grilled toppings (hold the ketchup!) make for a perfect burger.

By In Praise of Leftovers / June 29, 2012

A meaty burger topped with blue cheese and grilled peppers and onions.

In Praise of Leftovers


I'm quite reticent to call this the perfect burger, but's it's close. Plus, aren't burgers one of the more touchy, subjective food subjects? Some people are all about the beef – if it's Wagyu or not, how it's raised, how juicy it is.  Other people are all about the accoutrements and the bun. I'm in the latter category. 

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In Praise of Leftovers

Sarah Murphy-Kangas is a cook, writer, mother, teacher, and group facilitator. She lives with her family in Seattle, Washington. She started her blog, In Praise of Leftovers, as a way to share her kitchen exploits with friends and family and further explore her obsession with food. Her favorite challenge is to make something out of nothing.

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I grilled up a bunch of yellow peppers and onions and made some herbed mayo. And I bought brioche buns. Buns. Since we only make burgers at home once every few months, there's no way I'm going to wreck it with a bad bun. Good buns are very hard to find, it turns out.

Also I hate ketchup on burgers. I like ketchup on fries and fried egg sandwiches, but that's about it. If I've just gone to all the trouble to grill peppers and onions, I'm not going to spoil everything with ketchup. I am a mayonnaise lover from my youth (another touchy subject – some people shudder at the thought of mayo) so I have my burgers just with mayo or I often make a quick garlic or herbed version like I did here.

My patties were nothing special – just meat and salt. So I'll let you do those your way. And my brioche buns were grilled (cold buns are another thing that can wreck a burger). Otherwise, here's how to do the peppers and mayo, and blue cheese doesn't hurt, either. I put it on when the burgers are almost done so it turns into a gooey, creamy mess.

Grilled Peppers and Onions 

6 yellow (or red or orange or combo) bell peppers
1 large red onion
1 large yellow onion
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat grill on high. Brush whole peppers with olive oil, and cut onions into 1/2-inch thick rings and brush with olive oil. Grill everything together. Onions will take about 4 or 5 minutes on each side, and you can take them off before the peppers are done and set them in a bowl.

Grill the peppers until charred all over – 10-12 minutes. Put the charred peppers in a plastic or paper bag and let them sweat and cool down in there, about 15 minutes. This helps the skins come off easily. Peel the skins off, cut and seed them, and add them to the bowl with the onions.

Toss everything with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Herbed mayo

1 cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, minced
1 handful chopped fresh herbs (I used oregano)
juice of 1/2 lemon
lots of salt

Stir together and smooth on a lightly toasted bun.

Related post on In Praise of Leftovers: Grilled Pepper Pizza

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