Update:  Congratulations to Heather from North Carolina, the winner of this giveaway!  Her  favorite topping is “avocado and a roasted poblano pepper.”

Well today’s the day. Cook without a Book: Meatless Meals is officially available, and we’re celebrating with another recipe and giveaway. I debated on which one to publish but last night as I was having dinner with friends at  Michael Symon’s B Spot Burgers in Cleveland, it became very clear. Burgers are fun!

For those who think a thick juicy beef burger is the one dish you could never give up, try my bean burger. Over the years I’ve made many grain, bean, and veggie burgers that just weren’t worth the effort. Not these. The only simpler vegetarian burgers you’ll find are the ones in the freezer case.

You can make these burgers with any small bean–white, black, pinto, black-eyed peas–but since I leave some of the beans whole to provide texture, larger ones like canellini and chickpeas are a little too big. Today I’m offering the simplest of the bean burgers in the book, but as with their meaty counterparts, the bean burger flavoring options are endless.

Now for the giveaway. Tell me your favorite burger toppings. (Mine are bold cheese and some form of onion, either raw or caramelized.) We look forward to hearing your responses by tomorrow night–Wednesday, October 26th at 9 PM ET. Winner will be announced on Thursday morning.

Let the burger brilliance begin!


Really Simple, Really Delicious Bean Burgers

Makes 6 burgers

2 cans (15. 5-ounces each) black, white, or pinto beans or black-eyed peas, drained, liquid reserved, 1 can left whole, 1 can fork-mashed
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon coarse-grain mustard
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
6 good-quality hamburger buns

Toppings: green leaf lettuce, lightly salted tomato slices, red onion slices, ketchup

Mix beans, breadcrumbs, eggs, pepper, garlic in a medium bowl, adding, if necessary, a little bean liquid for mixture to hold together without being wet. Divide into 6 equal portions and flatten into 4-inch patties. Mix mayonnaise and mustard; set side.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over strong medium heat.(Warm buns in a 300-degree oven, about 5 minutes.) Add patties and cook, turning only once, until a crisp brown crust forms on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Top burgers with cheese slices; cover skillet, turn heat to low, and let burgers continue to cook until cheese melts.

Spread mayonnaise mixture over warm buns and dress burgers with lettuce, tomato, and onion. Serve with ketchup.