Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition. In her long-standing capacity as a Newsday columnist, Contributing Editor for Cooking Light, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, restaurant critic, recent columnist for several leading magazines (Better Homes & Gardens, Prevention); regular contributor to many magazines, (including Self, More, Coastal Living, and Relish) and frequent guest on television and radio, Perry is an accessible and authoritative guide for anyone who cooks, eats and travels.

In addition to Dinner Tonight, the cookbook based on her daily Newsday column, Ms. Perry has contributed recipes and text to nearly 20 other food and nutrition books. Her articles have been syndicated internationally in magazines and books, and her recipes have appeared on the Television Food Network and numerous television news segments.

Perry teaches cooking and food writing at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, food writing at mediabistro.com, and is a guest lecturer at the culinary management graduate school at New York University. Her extensive involvement with the food industry ranges from writing and reporting about cooking and nutrition, chefs, restaurants, growers, producers and manufacturers; restaurant reviewing; menu consulting; consumer trend analysis; and volunteering to bring food and cooking/nutrition know-how to those in need. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Libby Hillman Award for Culinary Excellence and the Food Writers’ Symposium scholarship and the Association of Food Journalists Award for Best Food Essay for an ode to her mother and strawberry-frosted cupcakes.

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CAPRESE BURGER

1 cup basil leaves

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

½ teaspoon salt, divided

3 tablespoons olive oil

1¼ pounds 93-percent lean ground beef

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¼ teaspoon black pepper

4 (¼-inch-thick) slices mozzarella

4 (¼-inch-thick) slices beefsteak tomato

4 potato hamburger buns, split

1. Combine the basil, almonds and ¼ teaspoon of the salt in the food processor and blend until a paste forms. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a slow steady stream.

2. Heat the grill for direct-heat cooking (400-500 degrees).

3. Combine the ground beef, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper in a bowl and divide it into 4 portions. Gently form each into a ¾-inch-thick patty. Press the top center of each patty lightly with the back of a spoon or your thumb to form a small, ¼-inch-deep indentation.

4. Cook the burgers on the grill until they readily release from the surface, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn, cook 3 minutes and top with the mozzarella; cook to desired degree of doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes longer for medium (160 degrees). Meanwhile, coat the cut sides of the buns with cooking spray and place cut sides down on the grill to lightly toast for about 2 minutes.

5. Place a tomato slice on the bottom of each bun, top with the burger, spoon the basil mixture over the melted cheese and close with the top half of the bun. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 441 calories, 24 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 29 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 740 mg sodium

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HOISIN BURGER WITH SRIRACHA MAYONNAISE

¼ cup canola mayonnaise

1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce

1 teaspoon ketchup

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1 pound 93-percent lean ground beef

½ cup chopped scallion

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

4 lettuce leaves

4 hamburger buns, split

1. Combine the mayonnaise, sriracha and ketchup; set aside.

2. Heat the grill for direct-heat cooking (400-500 degrees).

3. Combine the beef, scallions and hoisin and divide into 4 portions. Gently form each into a ¾-inch-thick patty. Press the top center of each patty lightly with the back of a spoon or your thumb to form a small, ¼-inch-deep indentation.

4. Cook the burgers on the grill until they readily release from the surface, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook to desired degree of doneness, 5 to 6 minutes longer for medium (160 degrees). Meanwhile, coat the cut sides of the buns with cooking spray and place cut sides down on the grill until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.

5. Place a lettuce leaf on each bottom half of the buns; top with the burger and the sauce, close the sandwich and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 356 calories, 19 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 20 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 638 mg sodium

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CALIFORNIA BURGER WITH AVOCADO CRÈME

½ avocado

¼ cup light sour cream

½ teaspoon lime juice

1 pound 93-percent lean ground beef

½ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 cup alfalfa sprouts

4 potato hamburger buns, split

1. Combine avocado, sour cream and lime juice in blender or mash with a fork until smooth. Taste, and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper, if desired.

2. Heat grill for direct-heat cooking (400-500 degrees).

3. Combine the ground beef, ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper in a bowl and divide it in 4 portions. Gently form each into a ¾-inch-thick patty. Press the top center of each patty lightly with the back of a spoon or your thumb to form a small, ¼-inch-deep indentation.

4. Cook the burgers on the grill until they readily release from surface, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook to desired degree of doneness, 5 to 6 minutes longer for medium (160 degrees). Meanwhile, spray cut sides of buns lightly with cooking spray and place the cut-sides down on grill to lightly toast for 2 minutes.

5. Place ¼ of the sprouts on the bottom half of each bun, top with the burger and spoon the avocado crème over the meat. Close the bun and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 314 calories, 13 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 22 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 580 mg sodium