Summer is synonymous with hot weather, vacations, and backyard barbecues. While I’ve mentioned we like to mix up our grilling routine, sometimes a homemade cheeseburger and fries just hits the spot. To keep things from staying too ordinary, we’ve become experimental with our burger toppings. One of our favorite versions is to add thin slices of smoked gouda in the last minute of cooking the burgers, so the cheese melts right into the meat. Then we balance that smoky, cheesy flavor with a fresh and crisp fennel slaw piled on top. It’s such a good burger upgrade…consider it for your next grill out, perfect with watermelon punch.
Smoked Gouda Cheeseburgers with Fennel Slaw
Dijon mustard (substitute ketchup if you prefer)
Handful of arugula
Burger buns (we like sprouted grain buns)
For the slaw:
1/2 fennel bulb, top and bottom removed (some fennel fronds reserved)
1/2 small red onion
1 tablespoon of juice from an orange
A good drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Using a mandoline, slice half the fennel bulb into paper-thin strips. Place the shaved fennel into a small bowl. Do the same with the red onion: run the flat side down the mandoline to create thin strips. Add to the bowl. Add the orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to the bowl and toss with your hands. Add in a few of the fennel fronds. Let the fennel slaw sit while you prepare the burgers. Grill the burgers to your liking. At the very end of cooking, top each burger patty with a thin slice of smoked gouda (I also cut it on the mandoline). For each burger, layer Dijon mustard, a small amount of arugula, the gouda cheeseburger, then mound a handful of the fennel slaw on top.