On Sunday, Mark made his signature breakfast, “the Bagel Melt”. It consists of a bagel, his was jalapeno cheddar, with cream cheese, sautéed onions and cheese (a combo of pepper jack and Gouda). He has been on a bagel melt kick pretty much since I took him to my hometown bagel shop for breakfast 2 years ago. After that very filling breakfast, we headed out, rain jackets in hand, to Watkins Glen State Park. Brace yourself for another geo-nerd moment… the gorge was formed when the land began to rebound back up after the heavy glaciers, which had been pushing down on the land, receded out of NY at the end of the last ice age. As a result of the uplift, the river cut down into the bedrock and formed the gorge… ok done.
We hiked all along the Gorge Trail and a bit of the Indian trail… it was absolutely amazing (even though I’ve been numerous times) and on the plus side the gorge kind of acted as a natural rain shield when it did start to rain.
On the way back we stopped off at Four Chimneys Winery, the oldest organic winery in America… we ended up with a bottle of dry, oaky, white wine, which was delicious… even beer drinking Mark enjoyed a small amount.
For dinner, Mark suggested grilled pineapple and veggie burgers. Then he suggested putting the pineapple on top of the veggie burgers… genius idea (I’ve taught him well). We picked up some Morning Star black bean burgers (my favorite veggie burgers), a pineapple and some fixing to make a corn and black bean salad. We found some beautiful tri-color cherry tomatoes (hydroponically grown in state) for the salad.
I might also add that during dinner Mark said, “I don’t think these would be as good with ‘real’ burgers.” Those are the words any vegetarian cook wants to hear! The combination of the sweet pineapple with the spicy cheese and the Mexican flavors of the veggie burgers are a really winning combination.
Pineapple Topped Veggie Burgers with a Corn and Black Bean Salad
2 Morning Star black bean burgers
2 ½ inch slices of pineapple
2 slices of pepper jack cheese
Buns if you so choose (Mark had one and I didn’t)
2 cup of corn kernels
1 cup of black beans
1 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in quarters
¼ cup of feta cheese
Preheat the grill. Place burgers and pineapple slices on the grill, brown on both sides. Once flipped, add the cheese slices to the veggie burgers. Remove when browned and the cheese is melted.
For the salad combine all of the ingredients, toss gently and serve.
To assemble, prepare bun, layer the pineapple on top of the burger. The cheese kind of acts as a glue. We topped our burgers with a scoop of the salad, and also ate some salad on the side. I also brought outside some pineapple peach chipotle salsa, BBQ sauce and ketchup, just in case but none are necessary.
Here’s to another weekend soon with my favorite grilling partner… what a great weekend of hiking and eating!