Give Lettuce A Break And Wrap Your Burgers With Another Leafy Ingredient

lettuce wrapped burger
lettuce wrapped burger - Static Media / Shutterstock / Instagram

"Suns out, buns out" can take on an entirely different meaning when standing around the grill. Whether for gluten-free diets, carb-cutting, or otherwise, lettuce has been the longtime go-to for wrapping a burger. Considering the wide variety of leafy green options, if you want to change up your burger bundling, it's time to leave the lettuce in favor of an ingredient upgrade. Depending on the specific green, you might choose to cook or leave it raw, but any option will offer a delicious new spin on a healthy favorite.

Cruciferous vegetables, considered superfoods, are a vitamin-rich bunch including kale, kohlrabi, cabbage, arugula, and many more that make an excellent choice for burger wrapping and can easily replace lettuce in raw form. There are also plenty of leafy vegetables that can be cooked by grilling or charring as a flavorful addition to your burger. Pairing the richness of red meat alongside earthy greens is a simple and effective combination of flavors, but you can also coordinate your leafy green selections to best suit alternative burger proteins such as salmon, chicken, or veggie patties.

Read more: Tips You Need When Cooking With Ground Beef

Leaving Out Lettuce For New Green Ingredients

lettuce wrapped burger
lettuce wrapped burger - smspsy/Shutterstock

Structural integrity and taste are two important things to keep in mind when choosing a leafy green companion for your burger. Whereas a bread bun can easily sop up a juicy burger, a leafy green wrapper is sure to leave some mess. Raw leaves make for a "cleaner" hand-held while cooked leaves let the grease flow. Also, note the proper methods for cooking leafy greens so they don't turn to mush. You can even serve your burger on a bed of greens with a knife and fork if you'd prefer to keep your meal more tidy. Taste-wise, by understanding both your burger proteins and leafy green ingredients, you can effectively pair together coordinating or contrasting flavors.

Whatever leafy greens you prefer, all can be prepared by gently rinsing and drying raw leaves or cooking them. Taking kale for example, these leaves can be used raw and wrapped around a freshly cooked blue cheese-stuffed burger to complement the sweet and salty taste profile. You could also serve your burger salad-style over a bed of arugula. With cooked greens, try pairing portions of oven-charred cabbage to add a smoky caramelized flavor to a garlic chicken burger or serve the burger over any variety of flavorful cabbage steaks. If you're hankering for an entirely vegetarian combination, use raw chard or lacinato kale to bundle up a hearty black bean burger. These new leafy green ingredients are sure to make an already good burger into a great one.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.