Spring has sprung! Awakened each morning by melodious chords from songbirds that gather outside my bedroom window, mother nature's alarm clocks have made it increasingly difficult to sleep beyond 7am
Lawn care and pollen counts now consume my days. I have mowed my lawn twice this month already. Well, Pete the lawn boy has. However, while Pete takes care of the lawn, he does not do weeds! Ah yes, the task of weeding one's gardens is a necessary tedious time consuming event. There is one weed however that is a pleasant to pluck-asparagus. OK, it's a vegetable but guaranteeing a supply from early spring to early autumn, it grows like a weed!
Asparagus is also a versatile veggie. An asparagus salad with simple ingredients like salt and pepper, shredded Parmesan cheese and a dash of balsamic vinegar is a wise choice for those trimming their waistlines for summer. Fresh and lightly blanched or raw, asparagus can be served as a component of crudites. Grilling it creates for a depth of smokiness that marries well with grilled meats. Perhaps the most preferred method to serve asparagus is as a veggie side. Which brings us to today's featured recipe: Pork medallions with Quinoa pilaf and asparagus. A perfect meal for champagne brunch on the patio.
1-Pork tenderloin - sliced into medium medallions
6-12 Asparagus spears
1/2 C. red onion - finely chopped
2 carrots - diced
1 C. Organic Quinoa
2 C. Nature's Basics vegetable stock
2/3 C. toasted sunflower hearts - meat only (no shells)
1/4 C. parsley
(1) In a large sauce pan, sear medallions. Place into 375 degrees preheated oven and bake until internal temp is 145 degrees. Remove and allow to set for 5 minutes at room temperature before serving.
(2) Meanwhile, prepare Qunioa pilaf. Heat EVOO in saucepan and saute onions and carrots until soft. Add vegetable stock and quinoa, bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. Quinoa should be light and fluffy. In a bowl toss quinoa with the toasted sunflower hearts and parsley. Serve either hot or at room temp.
(3) Blanch asparagus in boiling water. Remove. Plate all components of meal. Drizzle some honey mustard sauce* over pork and serve.
* Honey mustard sauce can be a commercially bought product or prepared by mixing 1 T. honey with 1 T. brown deli mustard.