Excerpted from The Niman Ranch Cookbook by Bill Niman and Janet Fletcher (Ten Speed Press, 2005). © 2005 by Bill Niman and Janet Fletcher.
Every year, the Niman Ranch hosts a hog farmer appreciation dinner in Des Moines. A group of top-notch chefs, including many who have contributed recipes to this book, team up to cook a one-of-a-kind all-pork dinner.
Chef Jeremy Morrow, always in integral player in this feast, does much of the heavy lifting that makes it all come together, from rallying local talent to organizing the details with the other chefs. He's also been a tremendous host to all the Niman Ranch people who travel to Des Moines.
This salad is evidence of his talent for creating appealing dishes that highlight each ingredient; it makes for a quick, satisfying weeknight dinner.
Start to Finish Time: About 1 hour
Jeremy Morrow: Forty Three Restaurant and Bar, Des Moines, Iowa
Prepare and light a charcoal grill for direct cooking.
Trim the pork of any excess fat or silver skin and let sit at room temperature.
Combine the vinegar and shallot in a bowl and let sit for 20 minutes to allow the flavor of the shallot to mellow.
Put the potatoes in a small saucepan and cover with water. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a knife. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander to cool.
Return the water to a boil and add the green beans. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until barely tender. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water. When cool, drain.
When the grill is medium-hot (when the coals are still red but turning gray and you can hold your hand over the grill for 5 seconds or so), season the pork with salt and pepper. Place the pork directly over the coals on cooking grate, cover the grill, and cook, turning two or three times, for about 20 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 140°F. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.
Whisk the mustard and honey into the shallot mixture. Whisk in the oil in a slow, steady stream to form a vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Put the greens in a large, wide bowl. Add half of the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and scatter them over the greens. Scatter the green beans over the greens and potatoes. Cut the tenderloin across the grain into thin slices and arrange the slices over the greens. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and drizzle the remaining vinaigrette evenly over the entire salad. Serve.
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