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Chilled Pork Salad with Walnuts, Cantaloupe,
Jicama, and Cumin Vinaigrette 



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Still Life of a Melon and a vase of Flowers, circa 1872
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Chilled Pork Salad with Walnuts, Cantaloupe,
Jicama, and Cumin Vinaigrette

Kitchen Sessions
with Charlie Trotter

by Charlie Trotter, 1999, Ten Speed Press

“This preparation makes a great mid-day meal. The cantaloupe, watercress,
and jicama work together nicely to contrast the mild flavor and firmness of
the chilled meat. Roasted cumin seeds in the vinaigrette add an exotic flavor
that pushes this combination over the top. Peaches, plums, figs and apples
could work nicely in place of the cantaloupe, and if you prefer something
with less bite, try mâche or Boston lettuce instead of watercress. Also, it’s
a great way to use leftover pork. Lamb or beef work well here too.”

Serves 4

4 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and
coarsely ground
4 1/2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup walnut oil
Salt and pepper
2 thick-cut boneless pork chops
(or pork loin)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 red onion, julienned
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups watercress, stemmed
2 cups julienned cantaloupe
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup peeled and julienned jicama

To prepare the vinaigrette
:  Place the cumin and raspberry vinegar in a
small bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil and walnut oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the pork
: Season the pork with salt and pepper. Place the
canola oil in a hot sauté pan over high heat and sear the pork for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the pork has an internal temperature of 150 degrees [F.]. Reserve any pan juices and refrigerate
the meat for 1 hour, or until completely chilled. Thinly slice the pork
and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the onions
:  Cook the onion in the butter over medium-high
heat for 5 minutes or until golden and caramelized. Season to taste with
salt and pepper.
To prepare the salad
:  Toss together the watercress, onions, cantaloupe, walnuts, jicama, and three-quarters of the vinaigrette. Season to taste with
salt and pepper.

Place some of the salad in the center of each plate and top with a few
of the pork slices. Spoon the remaining vinaigrette and pan juices over
the pork and around the plates. Top with freshly ground black pepper.

Wine Notes
Wines with melon flavors and full acidity will marry well with the dish.
Rieslings from Western Australia such as Leeuwin Estate and Franklin
Estate have delicate melon flavors and bright acidity that complement
the cumin and stand up to the pork.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Charlie Trotter's Grilled Beef Tenderloin
and Blue Cheese Salad

Charlie Trotter's Pickled Beet and Endive
Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

Charlie Trotter's Dried Fruit-Stuffed Pork
Tenderloin with Roasted New Potatoes and
Bacon-Sherry Vinaigrette

Green Goddess Grilled Chicken Salad
Korean Beef Salad
Provençale Beef Salad
Sautéed Pork Tenderloins with Basil
and Balsamic Vinegar


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