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updated 9/28/2005 2:22:26 AM ET 2005-09-28T06:22:26

Many people will enjoy the summer by firing up the grill to make some juicy burgers. But if you’re tired of stacking this American classic with the standard lettuce, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun, we have some condiments that’ll give your patties that extra zing. Rebecca Bent, author of “Burgers: 50 recipes celebrating an American Classic,” was invited on “Weekend Today” to show how to take this sandwich from blasé to gourmet. Here are the recipes:

Recipe: Geoffrey Zakarian's Town Burger (on this page)

Excerpted from Burgers : 50 Recipes Celebrating an American Classic by Rebecca Bent and Tom Steele. Copyright © 2004 by Rebecca Bent and Tom Steele. Published by Clarkson-Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt can be used without permission of the publisher.

Recipe: Geoffrey Zakarian's Town Burger

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (to season grill or skillet)
  • 4 8-ounce prepackaged organic prime ground beef patties
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 4 English muffins, preferably Wolferman
  • 4 thick slices of beefsteak tomato

Preheat a grill or cast-iron skillet, wiping down the grate or the skillet with olive oil before heating over medium-high flame. 

Season the hamburgers generously on both sides with the salt and pepper. Char the burgers well on both sides: about 4 minutes per side on grill, 4 1/2 minutes per side in a skillet. 

Just before the burgers reach the desired temperature, remove them to a rack to rest.  Divide the butter evenly on top of each burger and sprinkle with a little chopped parsley.  While the burgers are resting, grill or toast each of the split English muffins.  After 5 minutes, return the burgers to the grill or skillet to heat through before serving. 


Place a burger on each of 4 English muffin halves, top with a tomato and the other half of the muffin, and serve.

Serving Size

Serves 4


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