I found this recipe in the cook book that Barbara, Toms mom(LOVE HER!), gave me; of course I modified it slightly to suit me. This salad is simple yet very complex in flavor, all in all it’s a fabulous dish. I actually had all the ingredients in my house except for the pork chops, so to feed three people it cost me 7 dollars! I originally only wanted to buy two chops and half the recipe but they only had packages of three, so I reluctantly bought them. Good thing we had a surprise visitor that night! My friend Ola stopped by on her way to the gym, so I strong armed her into staying for a light and tasty meal, which only postponed her workout a couple of hours. I could tell by her mmmmms and aaahhhhhs that she didn’t mind much, she even stayed to do the dishes! Much appreciated. Anyway, that night I wasn’t sure how it would come out so I didn’t document the steps with my camera, but it looked so pretty I took some finished product photos. The meal shocked me with its abundant flavor, healthiness and cheap price tag so needless to say I made it again the next week, and will be doing so often! When I went to the store the next week they only had really thick cuts of boneless pork chops, I found them to be a bit tough(probably because the marinade couldn’t fully penetrate) and of course they took a lot longer to cook, so try to get some that are from 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick.
Grilled Balsamic Pork Salad
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp dijon mustard (optional)
- 3 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 3/4-inch boneless pork chops
- 3/4 cup red seedless grapes, halved
- 4 heaping cups baby arugula (I used a baby arugula and baby spinach mix, you can use your favorite dark green)
- 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese
- 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts (optional)
Any time you are grilling up meat, the first thing you should do when you get home from the grocery store is salt your meat and wrap it back up! The salt will dissolve and penetrate the muscle so that the meat is uniformly seasoned inside and out, and much more tender = melt in your mouth delicious. Some people say not to do this because it sucks out the juices, NOT true, what is being sucked out is mostly water, further concentrating that delicious meat flavor. The only time this would not benefit you, is if you are roasting a chicken or turkey with the skin on. The salt would change the texture of the skin keeping you from getting that yummy crispy, crunchy skin; in this case you would want to salt it just before cooking and then the salt will help form that crust you want.
So salt your meat, no matter what day it is. You can make this marinade the day before or day of it keeps well and will only get more delicious.