Salad a Day Contest Winner -- Recipe: Asian Porky Pineapple Salad

1 20-oz. can pineapple tidbits in juice, divided usage
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 to 1 1/2 Lb., trimmed if needed
2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 C. chopped green onions
1 package (5-oz.) spring salad mix (or other assorted baby greens)
1/2 C. prepared sesame-ginger salad dressing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as desired
Crisp lettuce leaves
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

Prep Instructions: 

Drain juice from pineapple into a large measuring C. (reserve tidbits for later use) and add water to measure 1 1/2 C.

Add kosher salt, brown sugar and vanilla extract, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve.

Cut tenderloin lengthwise about 3/4 of the way through, then open up and flatten slightly with hands (like a book) to butterfly.

Place into a large zip-top plastic bag with the pineapple juice mixture; seal bag, turning to coat all surfaces (or use an oblong dish, covered with plastic wrap). Refrigerate for about an hour, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Remove pork from brine, discarding brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Place on prepared baking sheet; sprinkle evenly with lemon pepper and cook in preheated oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of thickest part reads 155°, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove to a cutting board; tent loosely with foil and let sit for 5 minutes, then cut lengthwise into quarters, then crosswise into bite-sized pieces.

Place reserved pineapple tidbits into a large bowl with pork, cucumber, green onions and salad greens; add salad dressing, tossing to coat.

Season as desired with salt and black pepper.

To serve, line 4 serving plates with crisp lettuce leaves; top with pork mixture, sprinkle with diced tomato and serve immediately.

Number of Servings: 4 main dish servings
Prep Time: 90 minutes (includes brining time)