This hearty dinner salad is a fresh and flavorful entrée with a sweet kick of cranberries atop savory pork tenderloins.
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme, divided
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1/4 cup sliced shallots
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail
6 cups baby spinach leaves
1 ripe red Anjou pear, thinly sliced
How to Make It
Combine vinegar, mustard, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon thyme; set aside.
Combine pork and remaining 1 teaspoon garlic, remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss well to coat. Sprinkle pork mixture with flour; toss well. Let stand 5 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots to saucepan; cook 3 minutes or until shallots are tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add cranberries and juice; cook until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 2 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low. Add vinegar mixture; cook 1 minute. Gradually add 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, stirring well with a whisk. Cover and keep warm.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of pork to skillet; cook 3 minutes or until browned, turning once. Remove pork from skillet. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining pork. Toss pork with 1 tablespoon warm cranberry mixture.
Combine spinach and pear in a large bowl. Drizzle with remaining cranberry mixture; toss well to coat. Arrange about 2 cups spinach mixture on each of 4 plates; top evenly with pork.
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Really really good! I am going to double the cranberry mixture next time. Otherwise, wouldn't change a thing! It was very easy to make. I sliced and seasoned the pork ahead of time and kept it in the fridge until I was ready to cook. I cooked the pork and the cranberry mixture at the same time and it was done in a snap! Served with crusty garlic bread. Yum!
Outstanding salad. I did cut back the olive oil, mostly by cooking the pork tenderloin whole (after using a rub of the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper on it) on our traeger grill then slicing the pork to top the salad after dressing the spinach. Next time I want to be sure to heat up the dressing a bit more before dressing the leaves so it slightly wilts the spinach. The flavor was amazing. We will definitely have this on our regular rotation and I wouldn't hesitate serving it to guests. Thanks for another great recipe CL!
This one is a staple in our household. This is one of the few types of salads my husband will eat for dinner. A whole tenderloin can get a little expensive, especially if I'm only cooking for two, so this also works with chops, that I slice up into strips after cooking and top the salad.
One of my new favorite recipes to serve to company. It does take a little bit of time, but well worth it. For that reason I wouldn't consider it for a quick lunch salad like one reviewer hoped for. I often leave out or cut back on onions or shallots in other recipes but I think the shallots really define the flavor here.
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