WRITTEN ON February 20th, 2010 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Dinner, Pasta, Pork

Post-President’s Day is when I start getting really antsy. For spring. For sunshine and flowers and chirping birds. For the prospect of a light sunburn.  For food that isn’t quite so heavy – fresh produce and lots of grilled treats.

Then I realize that Punxsutawney Phil did in fact see his shadow (or didn’t he? I can never remember which one I’m supposed to hope for) and we are in for at least six more weeks of winter. Because let’s face it, here in the Northeast, we could easily see an Easter snowstorm and be in scarves and coats on Mother’s Day.  If this winter has taught us anything, it’s that Mother Nature is unpredictable.  Rather like a woman scorned.

Don’t get me wrong, I love winter.  But the simple fact is that I don’t live in a place where I can ski every day, and all that pretty snow in the city turns black and sooty awfully quick. So whenever I start longing for better days, I fire up the grill and buy some totally out of season produce.  I’ve always had a big imagination, and besides, there’s nothing quite like grilling on your balcony in a hat, gloves and down puffer.  It takes commitment, but it’s well worth is for a taste of what’s to come.

Pork and Greens

Salt and Pepper Tenderloin with Green Orzo Salad (serves 2 with leftovers)
1 pork tenderloin, about 3/4 lb
1 cup orzo, cooked and drained
2 large handfuls baby arugula, rough chopped
1 handful fresh dill, chopped
1 handful fresh flat leaf parsley, rough chopped
1 handful fresh mint, torn into pieces
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup crumbled feta
Olive oil
Toss cooked orzo, arugula, and fresh herbs with feta, lemon juice and zest, and three glugs of olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, set aside. Heat grill to medium high, brush with olive oil.  Pat tenderloin dry, season liberally with salt and pepper. Grill about 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so to ensure even cooking and color.  Let rest 10 minutes.  Slice thickly, arrange on top of orzo salad, serve.

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