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Seasonal Burger: Summer

June 20, 2022
8 min. read

BLT Burger with Basil Aioli

Hello, Summer!

Today we’re cherishing the last bit of spring while looking forward to the First Day of Summer—tomorrow, June 21st. We’ve already experienced a few 90° days over the last few weeks and months here on the East Coast, so it already feels as though summer is well underway!

And we’re glad it is! Even though we love the winter holidays and the great seasonal produce of spring and fall, summer may just be our favorite time of year. (Shhh…don’t tell the other seasons.)

Here are just a few of our top reasons to love summer!

  1. Grilling
  2. Warm, sunny days and long, peaceful nights
  3. Grilling
  4. Backyard cookouts with burgers, hotdogs, BBQ and more
  5. Grilling
  6. Seasonal fruits and veggies like tomatoes, corn, zucchini, and watermelon
  7. Grilling
  8. Summer vacation and weekend road trips
  9. Grilling
  10. Martin’s Potato Rolls!

For even more reasons to love summer (160, in fact) check out our Summer Bucket List!


Burger Spreads and Toppings Guide

As you can see by our list above, we love summer grilling season here at Martin’s—almost as much as we love Potato Rolls! That’s why, over the last few weeks, we’ve been highlighting all things burgers.

To recap:

  • On June 6, we learned all about grilling and explored some pro techniques to prepare tasty burgers using a charcoal grill or, alternately, a modern air fryer.
  • On June 13, we took a tour of America’s culinary tradition by exploring the evolution of the humble hamburger. As a result, we discovered some unique regional variations of our favorite cuisine!

This week: we’re taking a look at the most popular accompaniments for the classic American hamburger (besides the beef and buns, of course).

As an added bonus, this week’s blog also serves as our Seasonal Summer Burger recipe! To learn all about our “perfect” summer burger, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page!

About Burger Spreads

Unless you have a very simple palate, most people like to top their burgers with a choice of condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, or other creative sauces! Take a look below at some of the most popular burger spreads, then learn how to make your own custom creation!

Popular Condiments:

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard (e.g., yellow, Dijon, honey)
  • Mayonnaise
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Buffalo Sauce
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Dressing (e.g., ranch, thousand island)

If you’ve ever been to a fast food burger chain, chances are you’ve tried a burger topped with a “secret sauce” that is light pink in color and a cross between tangy and sweet, sometimes even a tad bit spicy. Well, the real secret is that many of these sauces are very similar—and super easy to make at home!

How to Make “Special Sauce” for Burgers:

The majority of special burger sauces are a simple mixture of either ketchup and mayonnaise (in a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio) OR ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard (in a 1:1:1 ratio). Then, a variety of ingredients ranging from pickle juice or relish to spices such as paprika, garlic, cayenne, or cumin are mixed in. The specifics may vary, but the basic concept remains the same.

Take a look at our homemade burger sauce, for example:

  • 1/3 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/3 Cup Mayo
  • 1/3 Cup Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Pickle Relish
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

To prepare: Combine sauce ingredients and mix. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Try this sauce in action on a Smash Burger Grilled Cheese or Double Smash Burger!

Other Custom Burger Spreads:

  • Comeback Sauce – a smoky and spicy sauce made with mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and spices
  • Flavored Mayo – e.g., Chipotle Mayo, Sriracha Mayo, Garlic Mayo
  • Aioli – an emulsion of mayonnaise and garlic; often infused with additional flavors such as lemon juice, hot sauce, chili pepper, or other spices
  • Remoulade – a French mayo-based condiment that is similar to tartar sauce and typically includes mustard and additional herbs and spices
  • Fry Sauce – a simple sauce that starts with a combination of ketchup and mayonnaise; it goes by many other names and also forms the base for our “special sauce” listed above as well as many of the burger spreads from popular burger joints.

Learn how to make these and other sauces at!

Bonus Tip: Keep reading to see what homemade sauce we used for our Seasonal Summer Burger recipe!

BLT Burger with Basil Aioli

About Burger Toppings

The meat is obviously the primary element of a burger—and we talked a bit in our Burgers 101 blog about ways to customize your own patties by building a custom burger blend or optimizing the lean-to-fat ratio. (You can also switch things up by using other types of meat, such as ground turkey, or opt for a burger “alternative” like Portobello mushrooms or a plant-based protein.) But today, we’re highlighting all the other “fixings” that go on top of a burger patty to make it extra-special.

According to a recent poll, 74% of Americans enjoy cheese on their burgers and a majority also favor other classic toppings such as ketchup (65%), lettuce (64%), tomatoes (58%), onions (57%), pickles (54%), and mustard (52%).

Curious about other ways to customize your burger? Consider getting creative with your choice of cheese, include other seasonal produce, or use classic picnic side dishes as a burger topping! Below are a few ways to mix it up.


  • American
  • Cheddar
  • Pepper Jack
  • Muenster
  • Monterey Jack
  • Provolone
  • Swiss
  • Gouda
  • Mozzarella

Traditional Toppings

  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions (raw, grilled, pickled, or caramelized)
  • Pickles
  • Relish
  • Bacon
  • Jalapeños
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocado

Creative Toppings

  • Potato Chips
  • French Fries
  • Onion Rings
  • Coleslaw
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Pulled Pork
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • And More!

Try your own combination of the above toppings by creating a Build-Your-Own Burger Bar!

Bonus Tip: Keep reading to see what toppings we paired with our Seasonal Summer Burger recipe! 

BLT Burger with Basil Aioli

Burger Topping Inspiration

See some of the above topping ideas in action with these unique recipes!

Surf and Turf Burgers
with Lobster and Lemon-Brown-Butter Aioli
Campfire Mac & Cheese Burger
with Roasted Garlic Aioli
Chesapeake Burger
Chesapeake Burger
with Warm Crab Dip
Poutine Burgers
Poutine Burger
with Fries, Gravy, and Cheese Curds
Firecracker Burger
Firecracker Burger
with Fried Jalapeños and Chipotle Ranch
Wagyu Burger Sliders
Wagyu Burger Sliders
with Tarragon Mayo, Pear, and Arugula


Martin’s Summer Burger: BLT Burger with Basil Aioli

BLT Burger with Basil Aioli

If you remember, at the beginning of spring we introduced you to our new blog series for 2022: Seasonal Burger Recipes! At the start of each season, we are highlighting a custom burger that best incorporates our favorite qualities of that time of year.

In case you missed it: Check out our Seasonal Spring Burger here!

And now, onto summer! For the sunniest season of the year, we chose to incorporate some summer essentials like juicy-ripe tomatoes and buttery-soft lettuce, crispy bacon strips, and a homemade herb-infused burger spread onto a classically grilled all-beef patty atop Martin’s Sandwich Potato Rolls!

Learn more about the key ingredients of this recipe below:

About This Recipe

The B.L.T:

Independently, they each make up a pretty basic burger topping; but together, they form a favorite flavor combo that is bursting with bold summer vibes. Thick-cut bacon, fluffy butter lettuce leaves, and fresh tomato slices picked at the peak of the season—together they form a beloved sandwich trio: the BLT. And while you could stop there and enjoy a delicious and refreshing summer sandwich, why not combine it instead with another summer favorite: the classic backyard burger?

The Burger:

No frills here, just some 80:20 ground chuck (or your favorite beef blend), formed into four ¼-lb. patties and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Cook on a heated skillet or griddle for a smash-style burger, or use your favorite outdoor grilling technique to cook the burgers to your preferred temperature, then top with some buttery Havarti cheese during the last minute.

The Basil Aioli:

For our summer-centric burger spread, we created a homemade aioli using a combination of mayo, Dijon mustard, fresh minced garlic, white wine vinegar, and lemon juice, then infused it with some finely chopped garden-fresh basil. This combination, alongside the tomato and creamy cheese, gives a subtle nod to another summer favorite: caprese salad.

How to Make Homemade Basil Aioli:


  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, finely chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic, minced
  • ½ Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • ½ Teaspoon White Wine Vinegar
  • ½ Teaspoon Lemon Juice


Prepare basil aioli by whisking together fresh basil, mayonnaise, garlic, mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice. (Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.)

The Buns:

While we love getting fancy with all sorts of different burger toppings, we can’t forget about the bun. A good burger bun holds everything together without getting soggy; it should add to the overall eating experience rather than detract from it. And for this Summer Burger, there’s no better choice than Martin’s Sandwich Potato Rolls—perfect for a single ¼-lb. patty with a few select toppings. Toast it if you’d like, but we think it’s great as is; the soft squishiness lets all the ingredients settle together for a stable and satisfying first bite.

View the full recipe at:


Watch our stop-motion recipe video below!


Martin’s Summer Fun Season

Reminder: We’re giving away a Weber Charcoal Kettle Grill at Be sure to stop by and enter for your chance to win—from now until June 30.



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