Here's a great, quick meal that's perfect for summer. It requires only brief cooking (or grilling) and benefits from the fresh, local produce that's available.
This is more of an idea than a recipe - a tasty and easy variation on the "cooked meat on a green salad" theme, such as taco salads or grilled chicken caesar salad.
The general idea is to top a green salad with seasoned hamburger meat. The salad part basically mimics the toppings that you would put on a burger - lettuce, tomato, sweet onion, pickles, and cheddar. If you have any leftover bacon, then by all means crumble it up and put it on! Then you top it with cooked hamburger meat - either cooked in a skillet or grilled as patties then crumbled - and dress it with mayonnaise and ketchup or mustard. When I first heard of this, I wasn't sure what I would think, but it is DEE-lish!
Here's how I made the one in the picture. We have a family of 4 currently at home, but 2 of those are teenage boys, so if I cook meat it has to be a minimum of 2 pounds these days! Use only 1 pound of meat for a smaller family.
Obviously, this is a recipe that can easily be altered to suit your own tastes and/or what you have on hand!
2 pounds of ground beef, preferably local and grass-fed
a spoonful of bacon fat
salt, pepper, garlic powder
lettuce (I used local mesclun mix - eyeballed the amount the 4 of us would eat), washed
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 of a Vidalia (sweet) onion, sliced very thin
pickles and/or sauerkraut (I don't care for pickles, but some traditional sauerkraut adds a nice tang)
leftover bacon pieces
Brown the ground beef in a skillet in the bacon fat, sprinkling with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. (Or, if you want to grill, just make hamburger patties and then break them up into small pieces.)
Meanwhile, prep all of the veggies and toppings, and set out the dressings. Then, everyone can build their own salad by putting the desired veggies and toppings on a plate or in a shallow bowl, then adding some meat (use a slotted spoon!), then the dressings - usually a dollop of mayo* and a squirt of ketchup or mustard. Just mix it all around a bit with your fork, then eat it up, YUM!
* Miracle Whip may be used instead of mayo for those of you so inclined