This node title is a bit of a misnomer for the recipe I'm about to give you because it actually does contain cheese. The catch is, it doesn't behave like it does - it's far more subtle than your average dollar menu lunch. The look on your guests' faces when they eat them, though, is worth the extra prep time. It's also indescribably fun to make, which is always a plus.

Here goes:
Get yourself some fresh ground beef, ideally a 50/50 mixture of chuck and sirloin, but if you absolutely have to pick, either get the sirloin and, when scrunching it up, add the tiniest bit of olive oil to it, or get the chuck and thoroughly rinse it first to get some of the fat out of it.

You'll need:

  • Ground beef
  • Parmesan cheese (the real stuff)
  • Salt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Rolls of some kind

Heat a cast-iron pan over low to medium (closer to medium) heat. Take your beef and roll it into burger-sized balls.

Now. grate a healthy portion (or maybe a slightly unhealthy portion) of aged parmesan into a bowl. Add a generous quantity of cracked sea salt and fresh black pepper. Dump the contents of the bowl onto a clean (though there shouldn't be any other kind) cutting board.

Take your balls o' meat and roll them (like you used to roll play-doh) in the cheese. Once every inch of the burger is thoroughly coated, mash the ball up, mixing the cheese with the beef, and form it into balls again. Then flatten the balls with a bigass cleaver, making sure to get some more cheese from the board onto the thing. The benefit of does it this way is, oddly, it almost always comes up with the exact right amount of cheese in the thing. Blame it on the math people.

Throw the burgers into the pan and start the cookin'.

Now, for part two.

Take a large tablespoon of mayonnaise and put it in a bowl. Add a drop (no more!) of lemon juice and a largish pinch of parsley, sage and rosemary with the resolute salt and pepper. (No, no thyme. Three spices are enough, though you can sub the thyme for one of the other ingredients if you'd like.) To all this, add some very finely diced garlic. You really don't need much. I love garlic with a passion, but please believe me: you can kill these burgers with too much of the stuff, and because you're not cooking it, the extra garlic oil has nowhere to go. A quarter of a clove should do. Mix it all up with a spoon.

When the burgers are done (rarer is better for these) put 'em on potato rolls, top 'em with the herbed mayo you just made and a touch more salt and pepper and hand 'em over. The good news is, they feel comfortable and familiar and also strangely decadent. The bad news is, they settle like little hockey pucks to the bottom of your stomach. They're also quite good with a light beef barley soup.