I love the farmers market. Love it. Last year, on the most perfect spring day in early May, I went to the market with the goal of filling my house with flowers. It was a rare Saturday off and the farmers market was bursting with people, flowers, and fresh produce. It was like heaven. And then, to add to the perfect day, I spotted Dan Barber with two assistants doing the shopping for his restaurant, Blue Hill. I couldn't resist the opportunity to find out what a chef-hero thought was the best looking produce that day, so I followed him. For about 45 minutes. He weaved through the people, stalls, and food like he owned the place, and I must admit that occasionally when he picked up something extra and asked for some for the restaurant (most stalls had pre-prepared orders for him) I came up right behind him and bought some too. Animated birds couldn't have made me happier.
When I came home from vacation a couple of weeks ago there were facebook and blog posts about peoples' amazing hauls over the weekend. Ramps, asparagus, spring greens--spring had arrived! I couldn't wait to get there. Monday morning, bright and early, DP and I grabbed some bags and headed out, eager in our anticipation. It was, to put it mildly, a disappointment. We set out with the mission: "Find stuff we haven't been eating all winter." Unfortunately, Monday at the farmers market is like a skeleton market. There aren't many stalls, and this particular Monday the only "new" vegetable was asparagus. It was the woodier, thick asparagus stalks, but I bought some anyway because I was so excited. Then I got some salad greens, cheese, eggs, carrots and beets (for the aforementioned carrot and beet salad). If it wasn't going to be spring yet, at least I could get some fun new products. Fortunately, later in the week I discovered Wednesdays at the market and since then all has been right with the world.
Later in the week I roasted the asparagus, placed it atop the greens with pork medallions and cheese, and made a red wine vinaigrette--and forgot all about my disappointment at the market. It was delicious!
Salad with Pork Medallions
*This is more of a method recipe than an actual recipe.
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb pork tenderloin
1 bunch asparagus
salad greens (in my house, enough for 2--leftover salad is almost never good, unless it's kale)
your favorite cheese, cut into chunks or crumbled (depending on what kind of cheese)
red wine vinaigrette (I know there are very good recipes out there with the ratios. I just can't be bothered to measure when it comes to dressing. All of this is to taste)
-red wine vinager (2 tablespoons?)
-good olive oil (1/4 cup?)
-1 tsp honey
-salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Heat oil in a large skillet.
Trim fat off pork tenderloin and slice into 12ish rounds. Place in skillet, being careful not to overcrowd (or they will steam, not brown). Cook until done, about 8 minutes, turning 1-2 times. Set aside.
While the pork is cooking, wash the asparagus and break off the ends (the asparagus will break at the point it starts to be tender, so it's best not to cut). Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Shake it around. Bake at 400* for 15 minutes. Cut into 1 inch chunks.
Place the salad greens on individual plates, top with 3 pork medallions, cheese, and asparagus. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and enjoy!