Hey there gorgeous! Summer will be here in two days; can you feel it? Here in Southern Cali, we’re pushing 100, and while that is definitely hot, I’m doing my best to embrace it. The Inland Empire Food Bloggers got together last weekend to share some of our favorite comfort foods, but we put a spin on it – we turned them into salads!
Now, I adore my Cuban Sandwiches – it’s no secret. But the truth is, summer is here, and sometimes that heavy sandwich isn’t what we need to maintain our figures. It’s summer and we’re showing more skin, so I figured a Cuban Sandwich Salad would be perfect! The salad starts with a base of sweet baby greens tossed in a yellow mustard vinaigrette. You cannot have a Cuban sandwich without yellow mustard. That’s a fact.
Then, we’ve got a pork tenderloin, cut into bite sized chunks and bathed in a citrus/yellow mustard marinade for about an hour, and then seared off in a hot pan to get a beautiful color! Swiss cheese and dill pickles are a must, just like the yellow mustard, and I found some habanero ham at my local grocery store, so I HAD to go with that, don’tyaknow. I added some roasted pepitas for a little crunch, and here comes the kicker: Panini croutons! I took some leftover brioche rolls, cut them in half, buttered them up, and slapped them on the panini grill until golden, then cut them into beautiful, buttery croutons. Hey, cutting down on the bread, not eliminating it completely! This is a hearty salad that will fill you up.
If you can’t find brioche, don’t worry about it. Use any bread you can find, and you’ll be fine!
It’s sooo good, man. So, so good. The consensus of not only my posse, but the hubs too – is that the pickles are the kicker! So whatever you do, DON’T omit them! Get them in there, whatever it takes!
After the recipe, don’t forget to check out my homiez’ salads too- all equally awesome offerings that you don’t want to miss!
P.S. If you’re an Inland Empire Food Blogger who lives in any of our great IE cities (Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Moreno Valley, Temecula, etc.), don’t hesitate to join our group! We’d love to have you!
- 1/4 Cup Orange Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Teaspoons Yellow Mustard
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic
- 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
- Panini Croutons
- 2 Ounces Kerrygold Butter, melted
- 1/4 Teaspoon Oregano
- 2-3 Slices Brioche Bread
- 1 Pound Pork Tenderloin
- Zest of 1 Orange
- 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
- Zest of 1 Lime
- 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
- 2 Teaspoons Garlic, finely diced
- 1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
- 1 Cup Diced Fresh Dill Pickles
- 1/4 Pound Deli Ham, sliced 1/8″ thick, and cut into 1/4″ cubes
- 4 Ounces (weight) Kerrygold Swiss Cheese shredded (about 1 Cup)
- 8 Cups of Spring Mix Lettuce, washed & cut into bite sized pieces
- Combine the orange juice & zest, lime juice & zest, garlic, yellow mustard, and oregano in a medium bowl.
- Trim the pork tenderloin of any excess fat and the sliver skin, and cut into bite-sized chunks, about 1/2″ square.
- Add the pork to the bowl, and toss to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 – 4 hours.
- Mix the melted butter with the oregano, and using a pastry or silicone brush, spread the butter on both sides of the bread. Place in a panini maker, and cook until golden, about 3 minutes.
- If you don’t have a panini maker, you can heat a skillet over medium heat, and toast the bread 3-4 minutes per side, until golden.
- Heat a large skillet over high heat, and add two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan once it becomes hot.
- Drain the marinade off of the pork, and add half of the pork to the pan, searing the meat on one side for about 1-2 minutes. Turn the pieces with tongs, and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes more, until the meat is cooked through, and firm to to the touch.
- Remove to a plate and cover with foil.
- Repeat this process to cook the rest of the pork.
- Divide the lettuce, ham, pickles, pork, croutons, and cheese among four plates. Drizzle each plate with 2 Tablespoons of the dressing, and enjoy!
And check out my girl’s awesome salads!
Fruit & Cheese Pizza Salad from Sue @ It’s Okay To Eat The Cupcake
Who doesn’t love pizza? Sue did her take on the classic comfort food, and made it into a delicious and healthy salad, without compromising flavor!
Read More >>
Spicy Watermelon Salad from Sara @ My Imperfect Kitchen
OMG TACOS! Tacos are one of those foods that makes me wish I had an extra stomach. This salad is modeled after baja fish tacos, and is absolutely amazing! Add some seafood if you want it more substantial, or leave it as-is for a super-refreshing light meal!
Read More >>
Spicy Asian Salad w/ Zucchini Noodles from Rebekah @ Decadently Fit
This spicy Asian salad is TO DIE FOR! We’ve got plenty of crunch from the peanuts and cabbage, and the zucchini noodles mimic regular noodles perfectly when they’re dressed with Rebekah’s awesome spicy sesame dressing! YUM!
Read More >>
mila furman says
What an awesome idea!!! I do love me a good cuban! I love this is idea of turning our favorites into a salad!!! What a great way to live for the summer 🙂
Natalie Wiser-Orozco says
Thank you Mila!! Yeah, those Cuban sandwiches are SO GOOD! I’d love to see what kinds of salads you come up with this summer! 😀
Cathy | She Paused 4 Thought says
What a clever idea. Perfect for summer.
[email protected] says
Ooooo, Natalie, this is beautiful, and it sounds amazing tOo~definitely on mynlost of things to make asap! And your post is gorgeous!
Natalie Wiser-Orozco says
Thank you Sue!! I’d love to hear how it turns out for you!
Brian McLelland says
My roommate is Cuban American and going to make this salad tonight…