I love Austin, Texas. I mean, who doesn't? Some of my best friends live there, as well as my cousins, and it's such a fun city with AMAZING food! I basically just visit to eat yummy food with good company. It's really my best life. While I was there in July, my friends took me to a salad restaurant called Vinaigrette. They've got tons of fresh, delicious food, and the restaurant is sustainably run. The owner farms all the produce, then the waste is sent back to the farm to feed pigs, or to be turned into compost. That is the kind of high-quality food I've come to expect in Austin.
I can't even remember what I ordered, but my friend ordered this gorgeous arugula salad with pork tenderloin, goat cheese, and green apple. I am not usually an arugula fan, but this salad really blew me away. I loved it, and decided I must recreate it at home. I took the pork tenderloin up a notch by wrapping it in bacon and thinly sliced apples. It is such a lean cut of meat, the bacon helps keep the tenderloin moist and tender. I also had to add some crispy bacon to the salad, as well as pepitas for crunch!
This salad was also my inspiration for my pickled fennel recipe. The briny fennel, crunchy pepitas, creamy goat cheese, tart green apples, and crispy bacon all add tons of variety, flavor, and texture to this filling salad. You will not be left hungry after eating this!
Bacon Apple Pork Salad
- Preheat the oven to 375. On the stove, heat a large oven-safe pan on medium-high heat.
- Melt the lard in the pan.
- Pat the pork tenderloin dry, then sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper.
- Place the tenderloin into the hot pan, and sear on all sides, about 6-8 minutes total.
- On a piece of parchment paper, vertically lay 8 pieces of bacon just barely overlapping each other.
- Cut the apple in half, then cut it into very thin slices. Lay 1 row of apple slices horizontally across the middle of the bacon. You'll only need about 8 slices for this, save the rest of the apple for the salad.
- Once the pork is done searing, remove it from the pan, and carefully brush the balsamic vinegar onto all sides of the pork.
- Then, lay the pork horizontally across the bottom of the bacon slices. Using the parchment paper to help keep everything together, carefully roll the pork and bacon up, until the tenderloin is completely covered by the bacon and the apple slices.
- Put the pork tenderloin back into the pan, seam-side down. Roast it in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Baste the pork with it's pan juices half-way through.
- Place the remaining bacon on a cookie sheet, and put it in the oven with the pork for 8-10 minutes (timing depends on the thickness of your bacon) until it is crispy. Then remove it, and let it cool. Slice it into bite-sized pieces, and save it for the salad.
- While the pork is cooking, put your salad together. Place the greens into a large bowl. On top, add the pepitas, pickled fennel, goat cheese crumbles, sliced green onions, and bacon pieces.
- Thinly slice the rest of the apple so it is julienned, and add it to the salad as well.
- When the pork is finished, remove it from the oven to rest for 10 minutes. Then slice it into medallions, and serve it beside or on top of the salad.
- Drizzle everything with vinaigrette and serve.
Make this amazing salad and snap a pic for me! I wanna see it, so tag me on instagram at #ideatthatfoodtoo. Or, click the upper left corner of the image below to Pin this recipe and save it for later!