The days are still hot on the farm but Eckert’s apples are ready for pickin’! It feels like we are in limbo season because we are still harvesting some summer crops but starting to pick a few fall goodies as well. Last night I was in the mood to grill but I also craved to keep dinner on the lighter side. I love this Late Summer Pork and Apple Salad because it is packed with flavor and a refreshing dinner choice.
Grilling pork is always tricky because it easily becomes tough if over cooked. In this recipe, the pork is finished on the grill in a foil pouch. The foil locks in the flavor and generates some lovely juices to flavor the salad. You won’t want to skip this step because it ensures tender and flavorful pork.
The rest of the recipe is pretty simple, aside from the complexity of flavors. I chose a blue cheese to add a creamy mouth feel and a little saltiness. Buttermilk Blue Affine is one of my favorites because it is made in America and it is aged for at least six months which gives it an earthy undertone. If you are not a fan of blue, try this recipe with feta crumbles or an aged cheddar, roughly chopped.
I used chopped Gala apples in the salad because that is what I picked on my drive home through the farm (I am super spoiled I know!). If Galas aren’t available, substitute another sweet apple like HoneyCrisp, Fuji or Red Delicious. Finally, I chopped up one of the remaining farm-grown turnips that was hiding in my crisper drawer and topped it all off with the delicious dressing. The dressing, made with Eckert’s Apple Cinnamon Jelly, pork drippings and Dijon, really rounds out the flavors of this yummy salad.
I hope you will give this recipe a try for yourself very soon!
Eat well this Late Summer/Fall,
Late Summer Pork & Apple Salad
3 Tbs. Eckert’s Apple Cinnamon jelly, divided
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, divided
½ tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, minced
½ tsp. fresh sage leaves, minced
3 boneless (¾-inch thick cut) pork chops
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus about 1 Tbs. more for brushing
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
1 Tbs. whole-grain mustard
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
6 to 8 cups cleaned torn lettuce greens
1 unpeeled Gala or Fuji apple, diced
1 small Eckert’s turnip, peeled* and finely diced
¾ cup crumbled blue cheeseHeavy duty Foil for chopsPreheat grill to high. Mix 2 tablespoons apple cinnamon jelly with the 1 teaspoon thyme, rosemary and sage leaves. Set aside. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil on both sides. Reduce grill heat to medium. Grill the chops until marked, about 3 minutes per side. Brush each chop TOP with the jelly-herb mixture (does not need to be brushed on both sides). Continue to grill until the chops are cooked through about 2 to 3 more minutes. Using a large enough piece of heavy duty foil, wrap the chops tightly. Return to the grill for about another 5 minutes. Food thermometer should read 165-degrees. Leave in foil and set aside to rest and cool slightly.
Whisk mustards, vinegar and remaining 1 tablespoon apple cinnamon jelly in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set dressing aside. Reserving the pork drippings, cut pork into bite-size pieces. Add lettuce, apple, turnip, pork, onion and blue cheese to a large platter or bowl. Take the reserved pork drippings and add to the salad dressing; mix well. Pour dressing on salad.
Makes 4 entree size servings.
*If using small, young farm fresh turnips, no need to peel.