Wilted Spinach Salad with Sauteed Pork, Apples and Blue Cheese

Instead of a long write-up today, I’m just going to post pictures of our latest dinner with the recipe at the end.  Enjoy!

The final product.

Mincing the shallot.

A savory vinaigrette.

Matchstick apple slices.

Fresh spinach from the Farmers Market.

Sizzling chops, lightly seasoned and coated.

Wilting the spinach.

The delectable and pungent blue cheese.  $16 per pound; it was a gift.

Spinach and apples, ready to go.

Serve with a side of rosemary & thyme potatoes and a big appetite.

Recipe after the jump.

I found this recipe after poking around online for something in which I could use this lovely blue cheese (aged in grape leaves for just a hint of tart sweetness!) that I got as a gift, in addition to using the apples and spinach I picked up at the Farmers Market that morning and the pork that I needed to use before it expired.

The recipe originally called for pears instead of apples, but apples go just as nicely with pork, and arugula instead of spinach.  What’s the lesson here?  Recipes are just suggestions.  Don’t be a slave to them.

Wilted Spinach Salad with Sauteed Pork, Apples and Blue Cheese
Serves: 4

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
Koshering salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 oz. spinach, washed and dried
1 Gala apple 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
4 center-cut pork chops, trimmed of any fat 
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/4 lb. blue cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

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 spinach aside in a large bowl. Core the apple and cut it into matchsticks.
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. Put spinach into warm pan to wilt; pour 3/4 of the vinaigrette on top and gently combine with spinach.  Add apple slices at the last minute and toss with spinach to coat.

Arrange the spinach and apples on four plates. Top with the pork and blue cheese, and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette.  Serve with roasted potatoes or any other veggie your little heart desires.

10 thoughts on “Wilted Spinach Salad with Sauteed Pork, Apples and Blue Cheese”

  1. @ evil chef mom: Thanks! I used the “vent hood light” trick again. 😉

    @ Foodood: You could try to eat through your computer screen, but the recipe only takes about fifteen minutes to throw together and is much more filling. 😉

  2. @ JEP: Thanks! It’s been a bit of a struggle to produce good pictures with our dinky little digital camera, but I think I’m getting better. I wish my Canon EOS Rebel wasn’t 35mm, because it takes sick pictures but they don’t translate over to CD/digital format very well at all. 😦

    @ ieat: If you do, let me know! It’s deceptively easy. 🙂

    @ Food Rockz Man: Thanks! That means a lot, coming from a food photography master like you. 😉

    @ ann: Hee! Not at all. In fact, lots of restaurants down here serve porkchops and eggs. Go for it! 😉

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