Last summer was definitely a summer of luck for me. Long before Charlie Sheen made the word popular, I was "winning". I won tickets to see Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, I had a winning 30th birthday, I won tickets to see Rent at the Hollywood Bowl, and I won a copy of the book The Berry Bible from Lisa Is Cooking. By the time I received the book, some of the berries I love were out of season, but I would look through it every so often and bookmark recipes I wanted to make the following year. Now that berries are back in full swing, I'm finally getting around to making full use of this book. Although there are no pictures (the horror!), this book is really informative and interesting. As an added bonus, it contains some truly fantastic recipes. The balsamic vinaigrette enhances the flavor of the sweet berries, but manages to retain it's savory notes with the rosemary-garlic pork loin. I'm fairly certain I could eat this salad every day if given the option.
Pork Tenderloin Salad with Warm Strawberry Dressing
(Adapted from The Berry Bible)
*Note: The original recipe calls for sliced avocado as a garnish to this salad. I omitted because of an allergy, but it would certainly add creaminess and a nice color contrast to the greens and strawberries.
Makes 4-5 servings
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus extra for the dressing
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed of the silver skin
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 pound mixed fresh greens
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix the rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pat the meat dry with paper towels then rub with the rosemary-garlic mixture. In a large, oven proof skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Brown the meat on all sides. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145-150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the tenderloin to a plate and cover with foil to keep it warm while you cook the sauce.
Put the skillet over medium-high heat and pour in the balsamic vinegar. Use a wood spoon to loosen the caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the vinegar by about half, then gently stir in most of the strawberries and the olive oil. Stir to combine and season lightly with salt.
Carve the meat into 1/2-inch slices. Pour any collected juices into the dressing and stir to blend.
Spread the greens onto a plate or platter. Arrange the pork on top of the greens. Drizzle with the warm strawberry dressing and serve immediately, garnished with fresh strawberries if desired.