I felt very continental this morning, heading out shortly after daybreak to the market to gather the best of the fruits and vegetables in my recyclable totes.
Okay - it was six-thirty, not daybreak (sunrise at 5:15; the store doesn't open until 6:00) and the local grocer rather than a farmer's market. But it's the thought that counts.
After a breakfast consisting of a cheese omelet and a croissant, it was time to chop, tear, repackage and plate a host of fresh goodness. Making a salad is a pain in the backside, if you want anything more complicated than basic lettuce and tomato. By chopping a whole mess of stuff at one go, you can pick and chose at any time exactly what your salad will hold.
While most of the effort is on behalf of my dinner companion, the basic idea is one I've used during the summer in the past: cut like a crazy person once, eat salad for the next five days.
A small pork tenderloin is thawing for tomorrow's dinner. The leftovers will be sliced up and added to the cornucopia of fixings for possible salads. Pork is the protein source in one of my favorite summer main dish salads. Enjoy!
Balsamic Pork & Berry Salad
6 cups lettuce -- torn
2 cups strawberries -- sliced
1/2 cup celery -- thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh chives -- snipped
8 ounces pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons pecans -- chopped
In large bowl toss lettuce, strawberries, celery and chives.
Trim fat from pork. Cut into 1/4" slices. Coat skillet with nonstick spray and preheat over medium heat. Cook pork until no longer pink, turning once. Remove to plate and cover to keep warm.
For dressing, add oil to skillet. Add garlic and cook 15 seconds. Stir in honey, vinegar and pepper. Cook and stir until heated through.
Put lettuce mix on plates. Add pork, drizzle on dressing and top with nuts.
I use leftover roasted pork tenderloin, almost never cooking one just to use in this salad. Heat it up a little before putting it on the salad, or heat it in the pan with the dressing.