July 4, 2010

... Grilled Pork with Arugula and Tomato Salad

I've had this recipe on my radar for a couple weeks now and was really waiting for a time when I'd have more than just me to cook for.  I mean, what girl needs to grill up an entire pork tenderloin for herself??  As it turns out, on Friday night, I decided I was that girl.

And I'm sure glad I did.  The pork - marinated in Mediterranean Herb and Olive Oil - was tender and juicy and was a perfect pair for the spicy arugula and tomato salad with feta cheese.  

Word to the wise: don't let cooking for one stop you.  Just realize that you'll have leftovers that will allow you to enjoy that great meal again.

Grilled Pork with Arugula and Tomato Salad
serves 4

1 1/4 pounds lean pork tenderloin, thinly sliced into 8 pieces
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided (about 2 small lemons)
1 tablespoon minced garlic, or 2 small chopped garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon table salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground, divided
1 spray cooking spray
8 cups arugula
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved, red and yellow varieties if possible
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Place pork between 2 sheets of waxed paper and flatten by rolling over with a rolling pin a few times; place pork in a releasable zip-lock plastic bag (or glass container).

Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper to bag (or container); seal bag and shake to mix and coat (or stir and cover).  Let marinate for at least 10 minutes but no more than 1 hour.

Off heat, coat a grill rack or stove top grill pan with cooking spray; preheat to medium-high heat.  Grill pork until cooked through, flipping once, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine arugula, tomatoes, remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, vinegar, oil and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper; toss to combine.  Serve pork with salad on top.  Yields 2 pieces of pork and about 2 1/4 cups of salad per serving.

Taylor's Notes:
Wow.  I must have been in a completely different world when I was cooking tonight.  I think I managed to get maybe two-thirds of the ingredients into the meal and didn't exactly follow the recipe to a tee.  Guess that's the fun of cooking, right?!

And you know what else is fun?  My meal still came out pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself.  Here's how it went... I put the whole pork tenderloin on the grill and cooked it according to the directions on the package.  I bought a marinated tenderloin - Mediterranean Herb and Olive Oil - yum!  For the salad, I tossed baby spinach and baby arugula with a few halved cherry tomatoes, and some crumbled feta cheese.  Sprinkle on a few pinches of kosher salt, a few grinds of fresh black pepper and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  

So, maybe I'm getting the hang of this cooking thing after all!  


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