A delightful mix of sweet and savory, this burger bowl with figs and balsamic onions has it all!
Burger bowls take all the toppings from whatever burger combos your mind can create, in bowl form, minus the bun. Buns are DELICIOUS but I am a topping fanatic so burger bowls are the ideal way to get even more of em’. In this rendition, the burger is paired with blue cheese, arugula, avocado, fresh figs, and onions sautéed in balsamic vinegar. Instead of a sauce, the arugula is simply tossed in some EVOO and lemon juice with salt and pepper.
This is such a quick and easy meal to make! Start by making the onions. They cook for 8-10 minutes until they are starting to get caramelized before deglazing with balsamic vinegar. The balsamic reduces and absorbs into the onions resulting in super sweet and tangy strands of onion which become such a pretty magenta color. Treated this way, the onions really pop!
While the onions are cooking, sear the burger in a hot cast iron skillet. Once the burger is cooked to temp, set it aside to rest while you throw together the bowl. The arugula can be tossed in the lemon juice, EVOO, and s+p right in the bowl you plan to serve this in. Then the sliced fresh figs, avocado, and balsamic onions are placed on top. Finally, the rested burger is added and the blue cheese is piled on the burger so it gets a bit melty.
Figs are one of the best things about the end of the summer! There are so many different varieties to choose from. Any of them will work in this burger bowl. I used black mission figs which are on the sweet side and have some nice berry notes. I suggest using which ever ones look the most fresh! They should be firm (but not hard, which indicates they were not ripe when picked) with a bit of give when you press on them. If they are mushy and soft they are no longer fresh.
You might be thinking beef + figs = ? but hear me out: this is a different kind of burger bowl but hits all the notes. The sweet and juicy figs are a perfect foil for the savory umami from the burger patty. There is a delightful amount of sweetness which is cut by the acidity of the onions and lemon juice, the saltiness of the blue cheese and seasoned arugula, the funkiness of the blue cheese, and the bitter taste of the arugula. The onions are sweet and sour; they still bring that allium flavor but add some much needed acid as well as sweetness that compliments the figs so well.
It might seem odd but everything really works and I know I will be making this fig and burger bowl until all the fresh figs are gone!
Burger Bowl with Figs and Balsamic Onions
Time: 20 minutes
- 4 ounces of ground beef
- 2 cups of arugula
- 1 ounce of blue cheese, crumbled
- 4 ounces of figs, halved (roughly 1/3 cup)
- 1/3 cup of onion (I used red), sliced
- half an avocado
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Season the ground beef liberally with salt and pepper. Form into a patty. Set out and let come to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, add the sliced onion to a sauté pan heated over medium-low with some cooking oil and sauté until they start to caramelize, about 8-10 minutes. Make sure to stir often to keep them from burning. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook off until it coats the onions and reduces completely, about 3 minutes (if it is reducing too slow turn heat up to medium). Remove the onions from the heat when done.
- Preheat a cast iron skillet on medium. Add a bit of cooking oil and the ground beef patty. Cook to desired doneness (roughly 3-4 minutes per side for a medium-rare cook, depending on thickness of your burger). After the burger is cooked, let rest for 5 minutes.
- While the beef cooks, put the arugula into a bowl and season with a bit of lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Layer the avocado, halved figs, blue cheese, and balsamic onions over the arugula. Add the rested burger and serve.
Note: Burger bowls are incredibly customizable. The amount of ingredients above are just suggestions and reference points – feel free to modify according to what you have on hand and what you like.