It’s the beginning of strawberry season here in Southern California and those bright red juicy berries are just gorgeous! Every Sunday at the farmer’s market I’m greeted by trays of smiling strawberries. Biting into one of these berries I am reminded how incredibly lucky M and I are to live in San Diego. Not only do we have the best year-round weather but we can also grow delicious fruits and vegetables year-round. Of the best of these are the strawberries.
They are so good this time of year I insist on eating as many as possible. I only get to the market once a week where I stock up on these candy-colored gems. This presents a problem because strawberries this fresh and ripe generally only last a couple of days after picking. Luckily I heard of a solution. Vinegar. Combine one part vinegar with ten parts water in a bowl. Place the berries in the mixture, swirl, drain and store in a plastic bag. You’ve just extended your berries’ lives for up to 2 weeks! I wish I could remember where or who I heard this amazing trick from so I could give proper thanks. I can now enjoy my berries whenever I want without worrying about spoilage.
So now that I can enjoy strawberries all week, what do I do with those berries? Usually I like to eat them just as they are, fresh ripe and juicy. Now that I have more time to use them, though, I’ve been experimenting with utilizing strawberries in a different way. This sandwich is distinctively savory with the mouth-watering tang of strawberry. The sweet glaze complements the tender pork loin and the fruity salsa adds a burst of flavor in each bite. This sandwich will be perfect for your next picnic. You can even pair extra salsa with cinnamon pita chips.
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) pineapple tidbits in juice
- ¼ cup sugar free strawberry preserves
- 1 pork tenderloin (1 pound), silver skin and visible fat removed*
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups cubed strawberries
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh mint, finely chopped (about 1 ½ Tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 4 ciabatta rolls
- Shredded lettuce (optional)
Drain the pineapple in a colander over a medium bowl, reserving the juice. Transfer the juice to a small saucepan with the preserves and ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until lightly boiling. Remove from heat and set aside for glazing the pork.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a cast iron skillet (or oven safe skillet) on medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle the pork lightly with salt and pepper. Sear the pork in the preheated skillet 1-2 minutes, turn quarter turn and repeat until all sides have been browned. Brush the pork generously with the strawberry glaze. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook 25-30 minutes or until inserted thermometer reaches 160 degrees, basting with the glaze every 10 minutes. Remove the pork from the oven and let rest 8 minutes. Slice the pork into ½ inch slices.
For the salsa, combine the pineapple, strawberries, shallot, mint, balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
Split the rolls and layer with 3 slices of pork, a generous spoonful of the strawberry salsa and shredded lettuce.
Servings: 4 Serving Size: 1 sandwich, with 3 slices pork & 2 tablespoons salsa
Calories: 346 Fat: 5g Sat. Fat: 0g Carbs: 43.1g
Sodium: 676.8mg Fiber: 4.3g Sugar: 7.6g Protein: 34.6g
Just the Salsa:
Servings: 12 Serving Size: 2-3 tablespoons
Calories: 21 Fat: 0g Sat. Fat: 0g Carbs: 5.2g
Sodium: 34.7mg Fiber: .7g Sugar: 3.8g Protein: .2g