The sliced pork and plums are arranged around a salad of mixed greens and watercress tossed in a dressing reserved from the marinade. Add some corn on the cob, Roma green beans (those flat green beans that are fabulous blanched and then pan-fried with sliced garlic) to round out your Labor Day meal!
Grilled Pork Tenderloins and Plums with Summer Salad
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar plus 1/2 cup extra to reduce for glazing the meat
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
Generous 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup canola oil plus extra for brushing on the plums
2 pork tenderloins (1 1/4 pound each), trimmed of excess fat
8 ripe but not mushy plums (Santa Rosas work well.)
4 cups mixed salad greens
1 bunch watercress, tough stems removed and discarded
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds, optional
4 metal skewers (see note)
1. In a medium nonreactive bowl, whisk together 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, ginger, garlic, and pepper. Whisk in the canola oil. Remove 1/4 cup of this mixture for the salad, cover, and refrigerate. Whisk well before using. Pour the remainder into a shallow nonreactive dish or a large self- sealing plastic bag. Add the tenderloins and marinate, turning several times, at least 4 hours or even better overnight.
2. When ready to cook, prepare grill for a medium high fire. Oil the rack and arrange it 5 inches from the heat.
3. Quarter and pit the plums: then skewer 4 quarters on each of 4 metal skewers. Brush the plums lightly with canola oil. When grill is ready, cook the pork, turning several times, until a meat thermometer registers 150 degrees F., 20 to 25 minutes. After the meat has cooked 15 minutes, add the skewers of plums and turn and cook just until slightly charred, 5 to 10 minutes. Watch the meat and fruit carefully as times can vary with the type of grill used and the intensity of the heat. Remove meat, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
4. While meat is resting, heat the remaining 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium high heat until reduced and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Watch carefully.
5. Assemble the salad. Place the mixed greens and watercress in a salad bowl and toss with just enough of the remaining 1/4 cup dressing to coat lightly. You may not need to use all of the dressing. Add the grilled plums. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
6. Slice the tenderloins into 1/2 inch thick slices, drizzle with some reduced balsamic, and serve with the salad. If desired, sprinkle toasted almonds over the salad. Serves 5 to 6.
Note: Metal skewers work best in this recipe. If you use wooden ones, soak them for 30 minutes in water before skewering the plum quarters. Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2014
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