Monday, June 3, 2013

Pan Seared Pork Over Cherry & Spinach Salad

This salad is a play on a childhood favorite; pork chops with apple sauce. Instead of apples I am using dark, sweet cherries as the fruit component. The seared pork chop is locally raised, so it has the deep porky flavor that only comes from pasture raising your pork. I seasoned it with some smoked guava salt from The Meadow in Portland, Oregon. This salt was perfect on the pork and complimented the sweet notes of the salad beautifully. I continued with the salty and sweet theme by also adding some shredded rosemary manchego to the salad. The manchego is a sheep's milk cheese so its incredibly salty and sharp that combined with hints of fresh rosemary, it went so well with berries and the pork. If you have never tried putting herbs and berries together, this is a must try for you! This salad was so perfect not a taste bud was missed; sweetness from the cherries, saltiness from the smoked salt and the manchego, slight bit of floral herb notes from the rosemary, bitterness from the spinach, tang from the cherry tomatoes and unctuous fatty deliciousness from the pasture raised pork. I served it with a simple balsamic vinaigrette that was just balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a touch of honey, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. I think a guava balsamic vinaigrette would go wonderfully with this or even a maple vinaigrette that, I feel, would compliment the smoked guava salt further; I will most certainly be trying this again and following up with one of those two dressings on here!

This recipe serves 2, but you can easily double it to serve 4 or more.


2 Boneless, pasture raised pork chops
2 tsp smoked guava salt, sea salt can be substituted.
2 tsp fresh ground pepper
Pasture raised bacon fat, 1 Tbsp for searing, any oil can be substituted.
2 Cups organic spinach
1 Cup organic cherries, pits removed, chopped in half.
1 Cup organic cherry tomatoes, cut in half.
1/4 Cup rosemary manchego, shredded. Any sharp, salty cheese can be substituted, add a little bit of dried rosemary to your vinaigrette to keep the flavor profile of the salad the same.


Heat a large cast iron or heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. Melt the bacon fat. Season the pork chops with the smoked salt and fresh ground pepper on both sides. Sear the pork on both sides, about 4 minutes a side. Set on a cutting board, covered in foil to rest for at least 15 minutes.

While the pork is resting assemble your salads. I like to assemble them separately on serving plates so that they look pretty and each person gets equal amounts of everything. Layer the lettuce, cherries and tomatoes onto two serving plates. Place the rested pork over top and sprinkle with the cheese, half onto each. Serve with a simple vinaigrette and enjoy!

So simple, easy & elegant! Check back for an update on the vinaigrette trials!

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