2014 South Beach Diet Burger Bash Recipe

Piggy Burgers with Tangy Plum-Apple Salsa (Phase 2)
Prep time for the burger: 10 minutes
Cook time for the burger: 10 minutes
Total time for the burger: 20 minutes

Makes 4 servings

A slider version of this healthy and delicious pork burger was our South Beach Diet offering at the 2014 South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Burger Bash on February 21. The herb-scented burgers are kept moist with the addition of grated apple and onion and a tangy plum-apple salsa makes an optional topping or side. If you’re watching gluten, use a gluten-free bun or skip the bun entirely and serve on a lettuce leaf. You can form the burgers ahead, wrap individually in foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1 ⁄2-inch chunks
1 large apple, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
1 medium onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater
2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 seeded gluten-free or whole-grain buns, toasted (optional)
Tangy Plum-Apple Salsa (optional)


  1. Preheat the broiler with the rack 4 inches from the heat.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the pork until coarsely ground. Add the apple, onion, tomato paste, salt, rosemary, thyme, and pepper. Briefly pulse-chop until just combined.
  3. Shape the mixture into 4 patties, each 1 inch thick. Broil the burgers, turning once, until cooked through and no longer pink, but still juicy, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve hot with or without a bun and with Tangy Plum-Apple Salsa (recipe below), if desired.
Nutritional information
Per serving without salsa:
233 calories
4 g fat (1 g sat)
37 g protein
12 g carbohydrate
2.5 g fiber
457 mg sodium
Tangy Plum-Apple Salsa (Phase 2)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes plus 2 hours for pickling and standing

Makes 3 cups

This tasty plum salsa is an excellent accompaniment for our Piggy Burgers. If you like, you can roast the halved and pitted plums in a 375°F oven for 15 minutes before dicing to deepen the flavor. You could also use 2 nectarines or peaches, or 1 cup of seedless red grapes, instead of the plums. The salsa keeps for a few days in a covered container in the refrigerator. Enjoy it as a side dish with any meat or poultry dish.

1 lemon, zest grated and juiced
2 red apples, unpeeled, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cups apple cider
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
2 plums, any variety, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeño pepper (or more to taste), seeded and minced
1 lime, zest grated and 1/2 juiced
Agave nectar (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, combine half the lemon juice and enough water to cover the apples. Add the diced apples to the bowl as you work to keep them from browning.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of the cider, the vinegar, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Drain the water from the apples and return to the bowl. Pour the hot cider mixture over the diced apples and refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour, to pickle.
  4. Meanwhile, a small saucepan, heat the remaining 1 cup cider over medium-high heat and boil, uncovered, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
  5. Place the onion in a small bowl of ice water for about 5 minutes to reduce any bitterness.
  6. Place the plums in a medium bowl. Drain the onions, pat dry, and add to the plums. Drain the pickled apples and add to the bowl. Add the cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, apple cider reduction, lemon and lime zest, lime juice, and remaining lemon juice. Toss gently to combine.
  7. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour, covered, to combine the flavors. If too tart, add a little agave nectar to taste.

Nutritional information
Per (1/4-cup) serving:
36 calories
0 g fat (0 g sat)
0 g protein
9 g carbohydrate
1 g fiber
3 mg sodium

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