Spring Salad with Mustard and White Wine Marinated Pork
It is finally starting to feel like Spring here in Indiana.
The bushes are starting to bud, flowers are coming up, and we are having lots of rain and very little shine (cue the violins...). Today, however, the sun is out and shining and it has me in the mood for a fresh, springy salad!
I love salads. They are packed full of micronutrients, vibrant colors, and robust flavors, but they often are looked at as the boring side dish that you eat to balance out the real treat...the meat and potatoes! How often have you said, "No, it's fine. I can eat this pizza. I had a salad, too!"? Hey, we've all been there, so no judgment.
While eating a salad doesn't cancel out the double-double and animal-style fries (this is an In-N-Out reference for you Midwesterners) you ate for lunch, it is a wonderfully healthy meal to include in your weekly menu.
This spring salad is far more than a little side salad to accompany your entree. This thing is the MAIN EVENT, y'all! From the marinated, center-cut pork chop to the homemade shallot and basil dressing, this bad boy will make your tastebuds get aaalllll the feels. Give this recipe a go and when you fall in love, leave me a comment and share it with your friends!
Spring Salad with Mustard and White Wine-Marinated Pork Chop
Time: 1 hour
6 1.5" thick center cut pork chops
1/2 c fresh thyme
5 cloves garlic
1 small shallot
1 1/2 c white wine (I used chardonnay)
sea salt and cracked pepper
2 tbsp whole-grain dijon mustard
2 tbsp ground mustard powder
2 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp basil
1/2 c fresh basil
1/4 c olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 small shallot
2 small cloves garlic
salt and cracked pepper
1 1/2 c arugula
3-5 spears purple asparagus
1/4-1/2 red bell pepper
1 large strawberry
1/4 c blueberries
Instructions: Begin by trimming any unwanted fat from your pork chops, then season with mustard powder, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
Once pork chops are well-seasoned, set them aside and roughly chop up 1 small shallot and 5 cloves of garlic. In a hot cast iron skillet, sauté shallot and garlic in 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Add in a small pinch of fresh thyme sprigs and turn down heat to medium, stirring occasionally. After roughly 3-4 minutes (or until shallots are translucent and garlic is slightly browned), remove from heat.
In a separate bowl, combine white wine, juice of 1 lemon, whole-grain dijon mustard, remaining fresh thyme, shallots and garlic from sauté pan, and salt and cracked pepper. Whisk well until fully combined. Once well-mixed, pour marinade into a plastic bag with the pork chops and remove all remaining air from the bag. Zip closed and move the contents of the bag around, soaking the pork chops in the marinade. Place in the fridge for thirty minutes to an hour (or until ready to use).
While the pork is marinating, make up your salad and dressing. To make the dressing, use either a blender, NutriBullet, VitaMix, food processor, or Immersion Blender. I like the Immersion Blender because it is less cleanup! In your blender, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, basil, chopped shallot and garlic, and salt and pepper until well-combined and smooth. Pour dressing into a Mason Jar.
Now all that's left to do is fry up your pork chops! I like the cast iron skillet for this because it gives the pork chops lots of flavor and a gorgeous golden-browned crust. Let the skillet get nice and hot before adding your meat so that you don't dry it out and use 1 1/2 - 2 tbsp olive oil to keep them from sticking to the skillet. Once the pan is ready, add your pork chops and let them sizzle on each side for around 3-4 minutes (mine were relatively thin so add an extra minute or two if they are on the thicker side!). Once they are a lovely golden brown, take your pork chops off the heat and slice them up or store them for later use.
You've made it to the final step! Deck your salad out with your pork chop and then lightly drizzle on about 1 tbsp of your dressing. Sit back and enjoy the light and tangy flavorworks (see what I did there?) going off in your mouth!
P.S. A little tip for y'all if you make this amazing combo...have a toothbrush or some gum/mints on hand!
While garlic and shallots taste great, they don't bode well inside the office!
Let me know if you give this salad a try and post in the comments and share with your friends!