Grilled Pork, Spinach, and Barley Salad

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This salad has a ton a really great flavor going on. It’s a very hearty dinner salad and it has a very familiar stick to your ribs sensation without a ton of fat. For me, there’s something satisfying about having a warm dinner. And this salad gives you a generous serving of vegetables while still providing a lot of depth and warmth. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Grilled Pork, Spinach, and Barley Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Marinate
1 hr
Total Time
30 mins
 
Servings: 2 people
Ingredients
Salad
  • 1 package baby spinach
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin or country ribs, fat removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ cup cooked barley
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms
  • 1 medium beet, roasted and cut into small cubes
  • 1 small bundle of scallions
  • 1 carrot, julienned or thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces almonds, toasted
Pork and Mushroom Marinade
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon bbq sauce
Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
For the Grill
  • 10 skewers, soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon high heat oil, such as avocado oil
Instructions
Marinade
  1. In a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade. Reserve some of the marinade for basting later on the grill.

  2. Add the cubed pork and whole mushrooms and toss to coat. Set in refrigerator for 1-10 hours.
Salad Dressing
  1. In a small jar add the ingredients for the dressing, and shake well to incorporate. This will last for at least a week in the fridge.
Grill
  1. One hour before intended meal time, soak 8-10 skewers in water for at least 30 minutes. I used a charcoal grill, so plan your preparation time for the style of grill you have accordingly.
    Marinated pork and mushrooms skewers ready for the charcoal grill
  2. Skewer the cubes of pork making sure there are no gaps from beginning to end, then repeat with the mushrooms. My trick to keeping the low-cost bamboo skewers from losing any of their cargo is to use two parallel to each other for each set. This helps tremendously with flipping.
  3. Brush the high heat oil on the mushrooms and the pork. Having placed the hot coals in the center of the grill, arrange the mushrooms just outside the edge of the coals. One to the left, and one to the right. Now place the pork just outside the mushrooms. Both the mushrooms and the pork are receiving a lot of heat while not being directly over the coals.

    Grilled pork, mushrooms, and green onions for a salad
  4. Grill for 3.5 minutes, baste with the leftover marinade and flip. Grill for another 3.5 minutes, brush with marinade. Flip mushrooms and pork one last time after 7 minutes on the grill, but place the pork directly over the coals, and continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 145-160 degrees. This will ensure a slight char while still being moist in the center. Remove pork and mushrooms, and let rest on a plate. Loosely cover with foil.

  5. Place whole scallions, well oiled and sprinkled with salt, on the grill directly over the coals. Allow to char, about 7 minutes. While these are charring, assemble the salad.
Assemble the Salad
  1. In a large bowl drizzle a tablespoon of the dressing down the sides. Before it pools in the bottom, place two handfuls of spinach in the bowl. Toss, and plate.

  2. Spoon up to ¼ cup of the barley over the spinach, add the carrots and beets.

  3. Sliced or left whole, plate the scallions, add the mushrooms, and pork.
  4. Drizzle a touch more dressing if needed, and sprinkle with toasted almonds and ground black pepper.
    Grilled pork, spinach, and barley salad with mushrooms and beets on a plate

 

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