Along with fallout shelters and “duck and cover”, many students of the Dallas Independent School District from the Cold War era remember a cafeteria hamburger that was an eerie green in color yet oddly flavorful. Here is my tweak of a somewhat sanitized version provided by Lynn Forester, a DISD nutritionist. (Here is a probably more authentic version.) Makes about 15 schoolburgers.
3 lb ground beef
1 c breadcrumbs made from stale white bread (as non-artisanal as you can find)
1-1/3 c lukewarm water
1 c potatoes, peeled and boiled till just tender then shredded with a grater
1 T Kosher salt
1/2 t pepper
1 c finely chopped onions
1/4 cup sweet relish
1/4 cup white vinegar
6 T (3/8 c) yellow mustard
Method: Soak the breadcrumbs in water until soft. Saute the ground beef till browned, pour off excess fat, add onions and cook till translucent. Mix in other ingredients and cook until heated through and well combined. The overall effect should be similar to a sloppy joe but a little firmer and with hamburger spices instead of tomato. Serve on hamburger buns.
NOTE: These burgers don’t come out as green as those from the 50s, probably because the original used relish with a food coloring that’s no longer approved. If you want to experiment, add a few drops of green food coloring to the relish before mixing in.