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Locavore BBQ: How to Make the Best Burger

August 28, 2012
Build an amazing burger out of all NYC-local ingredients.

Though the end of summer is bittersweet, we love celebrating with a good ol’ fashioned BBQ full of big, juicy, chin-dripping burgers. That’s right, a healthful burger, made right, can be created entirely from local, artisanal ingredients. The best part? You can combine your shopping with one last summery excursion: All of the ingredients, whether for a conscious carnivore or thoughtful vegan, can be found on Sunday morning at the New Amsterdam Market on the South Street Seaport —though please note, the market will not be open this coming Sunday, September 2nd. But next weekend, mosey over for the best fresh and local offerings, then fire up the grill!

First up: The Burger

Finger Lakes Farms

Stop by Finger Lakes Farms to find a great cut of meat (sans pink slime). Their happy, local cows are pastured, which means your burgers can be prepared with delicious, sustainable, grass-fed ground beef that’s truly good for you and your guests.
Vegetarian? Scour the market for big, hearty portabello mushrooms (try Z Food Farms below); at home, lightly brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and toss them on the grill.

Next up: The Fixins

Z Food Farm Veggies

Take your pick of exquisitely fresh, organic heirloom summer tomatoes, onions, a variety of just-plucked lettuces and crunchy cucumbers. This newly certified small farm has pristine seasonal vegetables, so get ready to top your burgers with some truly fabulous produce.

Rick’s Picks Peoples Pickles

These nostalgic dill rounds will conjure up memories of your childhood BBQs — minus the preservatives and high sodium. These “picks” are made with fresh cukes from local farmers, hand-packed in Brooklyn in a simple jar of vinegar, dill and garlic. Their tagline: “a lotta snack, no guilt attack” fulfills its promise: The pickles are low-sodium and cholesterol-, gluten- and fat-free. When chilled, they have the perfect crunch and zing to compliment a burger. Be sure to sample some of Rick’s Picks’ other concoctions while you’re there, such as the Phat Beets and Handy Corn relish. (Warning: You may be there for a while.)

First Field Jersey Ketchup

Please your guests right down to the condiments by snagging a jar of Jersey Ketchup to slather on their burgers. The famous Jersey Tomato tastes even better in its pureed form: a rich, dark blend of vine-ripened tomatoes, onions, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and the perfect kick of organic spices. First Field began with an entire tomato field (called Field #1, naturally) dedicated to the creation of this condiment. This ketchup is so good, you might want to eat it by the spoonful — err, that was part of the testing process.

Nordic Breads’ Organic Finnish Ruis

Envelop your burgers with these hearty rolls. Baked with ancient Finnish techniques, these right-sized rounds are made with 100% whole grain rye and authentic sourdough starter. Rye is touted by some as one of the healthiest breads available, and popular for its low gluten content and long shelf life. Nordic Breads are local too, made by bread baker Sino Kuusisto in Long Island City.

Lastly: Nom, nom, nom

Have a healthy, delicious local burger before summer ends. What will you be cooking?

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