I read an interesting piece on burgers today. In the creation and development of a burger or even simply a dish, sometimes delivering the expected and preconditioned idea of what is supposed to be there is not necessarily the right answer for the individual chef. We expect burgers to be served with pickles. More often than not we also expect burgers to have sliced tomatoes. As our friend Tony Maws, the creator of the inspired burger in the article, did not have any fresh pickles on hand, he left them off the plate. They may make an appearance once fresh cucumbers come to market and he can make his own. Tomatoes will not be added until August when they actually grow in the Northeast. These two seasonal limitaions sent my mind racing off in a number of directions. Sure, fresh cucumbers might not be available, why not substitute thin slices of pickled celery root, spicy rutabaga, or even sweet and sour turnips to add a surprisingly unexpected tang; the unexpected pickle to accompany the artisan burger? Why do tomatoes need to be on a burger? Could we rehydrate and roast sun dried tomatoes to make a delcious winter/spring accompaniment? What else is possible? A deeper look into an ingredient book and a few conversations with some smarter people will hopefully help me open up a few new directions for our search for the perfect burger.