Saturday, June 09, 2012

Faux European

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.


Katharine said...

This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing, I love finding new summer salad recipes!

melissa said...


You know, speaking of Europeans...have been hankering to try tomatoes, basil and mozzarella salad. Must see if there's another ingredient...a dressing, perhaps, that finishes it up.

Simple meals are so refreshing when it's hot outside.

Take care, girlfriend. :)

Diane said...

Melissa, the "dressing" is a drizzle of the best olive oil you have on hand. The whole thing is best served at room temperature. Great minds must think alike - in addition to the other salad things, I picked up almost ripe tomatoes and a big hunk of fresh mozzarella. Forgot the fresh basil - dried will have to do!