I gave myself the challenge of developing a hamburger salad. The Slider Kale Salad you see in the photo didn’t come to me overnight. I sat on the idea for days. My first vision of this salad was knee-jerk traditional–a big burger on a bed of lettuce with tomato, onions, pickles and a ketchupy-flavored mayonnaise dressing.
I quickly moved to the internet for inspiration. Not much there either except frying up the ground beef, sloppy Joe-style, which I toyed with. But then an idea came from within me. I recalled our recent Massaged Kale Caesar. The ground beef was substantial enough to stand up to that hearty green.
I didn’t want a treakly ketchup-based dressing, and that’s when I remembered Maggy’s special mustard-mayo sandwich spread from her days of working at the pub. As the idea continued to evolve I thought about how much nicer it’d be to have little slider size burgers rather than one big patty. And that, my friends, is how this classy little hamburger salad was born.
- 1 medium red onion, half finely grated, half thin sliced
- ½ cup regular or light mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
- 1 pound lean ground beef (organic if possible)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
- ¼ teaspoon each: salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bunch (about 12 ounces) kale, washed, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
- ½ cup sliced cornichons or baby dill pickles
- Mix grated onion, mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons of mustard in a small bowl; set aside.
- Break up ground beef in a medium bowl. Season with remaining 2 teaspoons mustard, the Worcestershire and the salt and pepper; stir with a fork to lightly but thoroughly combine. Divide meat into 12 portions (a scant ¼ cup) and form into small patties. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (Can be refrigerated a couple of days.)
- Drizzle olive oil over kale in a large bowl; toss to evenly coat, and then massage leaves with fingertips until kale softens in texture and darkens in color. Add sliced red onion and cornichons; set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Meanwhile, heat all burners on a gas grill on high, about 10 minutes. Use a wire brush to clean grill rack, and then lubricate it with an oil-soaked rag; close lid and make sure the grill returns to temperature. Add burgers and cook, turning only once, until impressive grill marks form on both sides and burgers are cooked to desired doneness, about 6 minutes total for medium-well.
- Drizzle kale with dressing; toss to coat. Serve salad on each of 4 pasta plates, top with 3 little burgers and serve immediately.