Fried Green Tomato-Topped Veggie Burgers (Inspired by Sallie Ford)

THE DISH
Hearty veggie burgers topped with fried green tomatoes (recipe here)

THE INSPIRATION
A couple weeks ago my lovely friend Jill took me to see Jolie Holland at Bowery Ballroom, and she said we needed to get there early to see Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside. Holy whoa was she awesome, and I listened to Ford’s music nonstop for the rest of the week. Of course, the song that really made my ears perk up was a new one called “Fried Green Tomatoes,” which isn’t on her album but was recorded for her Daytrotter session last month (download “Fried Green Tomatoes” and three other tracks there!).

Ford’s voice — a brassy, spastic alto wail — falls somewhere between Etta James and Amy Winehouse. Her LP is called Dirty Radio, and she sings about the fake music being made today. It’s no wonder that most of her record — folk, blues, jazz, rock — sounds like it could’ve been recorded decades ago. The dish I made is also inspired by one of my favorite Brooklyn restaurants, Lodge in Williamsburg, whose rustic interior of tree-stump stools and the adjacent “General Store” also looks like it came from another time. My favorite dish there is the egg sandwich, with a fried egg, pesto, tempeh bacon and a fried tomato. Sallie Ford’s music is hearty, and instead of an egg I made a high-protein veggie burger topped with a fried green tomato; instead of the pesto and bacon I just finished it with normal burger fixins, and it was perfect.

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