Now that the weather is finally getting warm around here in the Northeastern U.S., we start thinking entrée salads for dinner. This dish is perfect for when you want a satisfying dinner but don’t want to dirty a whole lot of pots and pans to get there. It’s easy to prepare and has intense, warming flavors that satisfy the tastebuds, if not the soul.
The main change I made was substituting dried apricots for the dried cherries. One, because we had them on hand, and two, because we both felt their flavor profile better melded with the other ingredients. But if you are a cherry fan, by all means, go ahead and use them.
Wilted Arugula Salad with sautéed Pork, Pear and Blue Cheese
- 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, finely diced
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 oz. baby arugula, washed and spun dry (about 8 loosely packed cups)
- 1 firm-ripe Bosc pear
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed and sliced 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1/4 lb. blue cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the oil. Stir in the shallot and thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Put the arugula in a large bowl.
- Core the pear and cut it into matchsticks.
- Put the flour in a pie pan or large plate. Season the pork liberally with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour.
- Set a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 3 Tbs. oil and the butter. When the butter melts and begins to lightly brown, cook the pork (in batches if necessary), flipping after 2 min., until it’s just cooked through, about 3 min. total. Transfer to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining pork.
- Discard any fat in the skillet and set over low heat. Add the balsamic-Dijon vinaigrette and cook, stirring to pick up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is warm, about 1 min.
- Pour the vinaigrette back into its bowl and whisk to recombine.
- Toss the arugula with half of the warm vinaigrette.
- Arrange the arugula on 3-4 plates. Top with the pork, pear, blue cheese, and dried apricot slices, and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette.
Adapted from a recipe by Tony Rosenfeld from Fine Cooking