Peachy Pork Quinoa Salad (aka CSA salad)

Everyday Food’s Dinner Tonight recently posted some no-recipe, quick dinner ideas. During the summer months, one of my favorite quick dinner strategies is to make a salad using the bounty of that week’s CSA delivery. The general formula is to cook a quick-cooking grain, usually quinoa or cous cous, mix with fruit (fresh or dried) and protein (chicken, pork &/or nuts) and serve atop the fresh greens with a simple vinaigrette. This is even quicker when you have leftover meat on hand. Last week, I had some peaches from the market, pork chops, and there were sweet onions, garlic scape, basil and lettuce in the CSA bag. Later in the summer when tomatoes are plentiful I often make a tomato/basil/mozzarella version. But in the meantime, the first summer peaches called for pork. Here’s what we wound up with this past week.

Recipe: Peachy Pork Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 c quinoa
  • 1 c chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 c water
  • 2 boneless pork chops
  • salt
  • smoked paprika
  • olive oil
  • 1 sweet/yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic scape or 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/3 c chopped almonds
  • 2 peaches, chopped
  • 6 leaves basil, chopped
  • 1 head lettuce, rinsed
  • red wine vinegar and/or lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

Place quinoa, broth and water in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Water should be completely absorbed.

While quinoa cooks, heat 1 T olive oil in frying pan over medium high heat. Add onions and cook 6-8 minutes, until golden brown. (If using garlic clove, add to pan for last 1-2 minutes.) Remove from pan. Season pork chops with salt and smoked paprika (or your favorite seasoned salt) and cook 3-4 minutes per side (less if using thin-cut chops). Remove, let sit while assembling salad.

Assemble salad – gently mix almonds, peaches and basil into quinoa. Arrange lettuce, top with onions, garlic scape and quinoa mixture. Slice pork chops and place on top.

Vinaigrette: mix 2 T each olive oil and red wine vinegar, add salt, pepper and a splash of lemon juice.

Makes 2-4 servings.

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