Using fresh, seasonal vegetables heightens the incredible flavors of this Thai inspired grilled pork and vegetable salad, an easy, 30 minute one dish meal for summertime or anytime.
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Creating main dish salads like this Thai style grilled pork and vegetable salad is one of my favorite ways to use the garden's produce - whether you've grown them yourself or bought from a farmer's market or local store.
You know, when I was first learning to garden I concentrated on flowers (at one point I counted almost 50 roses on our 50 x 100 city lot!) and only added a few small raised beds to grow a couple tomato plants, lettuce, and a few other vegetables just because it seemed the thing to do. I really wasn't invested in it, though, until I saw - and felt - how easy it was to grow the food we ate.
I remember specifically a simple meal we ate outside with some friends where I was able to say that ALL the produce had come from my garden. What a feeling - I had no idea how it would affect me! I started converting flower beds to vegetable beds that fall - and dreaming of moving to more property so I could grow more - corn, potatoes, dry beans & whatever I wanted.
And I've heard I'm not alone - most gardener's goal throughout the growing season is to be able to say, "I grew this" at meals, making the phrase "garden to table" a real, everyday occurrence.
Once the soil is prepared and the seeds and starts are planted, the biggest garden chore is watering (not weeding if you plan for an easy care garden!) and your garden should keep you in produce for many months (and longer if you preserve the harvest).
Which is why I value investing in good watering equipment - soaker hoses, brass quick connect ends and quality hoses like the Gilmour Flexogen. Flexogen's layer of oxygen-infused foam increases its flexibility, making it easy to pull through all the corners of our raised-bed garden to water and then coil back up for storage - all while maintaining Flexogen’s signature durability to last for many seasons.
And things need to last on our property, since we don't have the space to store all our hoses at the end of every season.
Having good watering tools enables me to harvest lovely vegetables to use in salads like this all season long.
Grilled Pork and Vegetable Salad
This salad, though?
Gather your seasonal produce: cabbage, onions, carrots, snap and/or snow peas in spring and early summer or green beans, red peppers, zucchini, and onions later in the season.
Do a bit of chopping, mix up a dressing, grill pork and some of the vegetables and make a unique and easy summertime main dish salad!
Once you make this one-dish meal, I know you will be making it again - and who knows, maybe you'll start converting more of your property to vegetables (if you don't already) so you'll be able to say "I grew this," too!
Thai Grilled Pork and Vegetable Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
- Grill and Grill Basket
Marinade & Pork:
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- juice of 1 lime about 1½ tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon dried ginger
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 pound boneless pork loin chops
Dressing & Salad:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup olive or peanut oil
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons lime juice about 2 small limes
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil + 1 tablespoon for grilled vegetables
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce or other Asian hot sauce, to taste
- 3 carrots* peeled and sliced on bias
- 1 pound snap or snow peas* strings removed and sliced as needed
- 1 large onion* cut in half, then half again and sliced ('half-moon' slices)
- 1 small head cabbage chopped (Chinese cabbage or a savoy type preferred, but regular cabbage is fine, too).
- Chopped peanuts and cilantro or parsley for serving
- Mix together marinade ingredients and pour over pork chops in a single layer in a baking dish (or in a large zip top baggie). Refrigerate for 1-6 hours.
Make Dressing & Grill
- Mix dressing ingredients from soy sauce through Sriracha until all is incorporated. Refrigerate until needed (if dressing thickens as is waits, add water to thin to pouring consistency).
- Heat a grill to medium-high.
- Combine carrots, peas, and onions in a large bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon sesame oil, salt and pepper.
- Remove pork from marinade and grill until done, 145-155 degrees (use a thermometer for accuracy, that's the key to not cooking our pork too long!).
- At the same time, grill the prepared carrots, onions, and peas using a grill basket, tossing every few minutes (the pork will probably be done cooking before the vegetables). Cook the vegetables until still crisp with edges starting to char. Cook time is usually 12 to 15 minutes.
- Divide the cabbage between 4 to 6 plates.
- Slice pork chops thinly and divide between plates.
- Top each plate with a portion of the grilled vegetables and then drizzle the dressing over all. Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro or parsley.
Other Easy Main Dishes You May Like:
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