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Looking to stay out of the kitchen and away from the grill this Memorial Day?  Here's a great  recipe that you can make the day before, then assemble while the guests are taking their seats.  The fresh flavors and bright colors of the vegetables and the sweetness of the gherkins combine nicely with the tang of the homemade french dressing.

Get to a farmers market Saturday for the radishes, scallions, parsley and chives, and look for Berkshire pork at your favorite meat purveyor.  Livestock First Ranch and Juha Ranch raise and sell  Berkshire pork. Livestock First is at the Coppell Farmers Market on Saturdays and Juha is at White Rock Local Market and the Dallas Farmers Market this Saturday.  Probably be a good idea to check with them in advance to see if they will have the pork loins available.

Two 2½ lb. boneless pork loins
THE MARINADE
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons coarse salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme
THE SUMMER RICE SALAD
Three cups steamed rice
½ cup thinly sliced radishes
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
1 green pepper minced
2 tablespoons minced gherkins
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons snipped chives
THE FRENCH DRESSING
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice
One-third to one-half-cup of a good olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and white pepper to taste

  • Marinate the pork. Mix the minced garlic, coarse salt, pepper and thyme together and rub into the pork loin.  Wrap the loins in plastic wrap and let stand for at least two hours in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush off the salt and garlic mixture from the pork loins with your hands.  Tie the two pork loins together at two-inch intervals with kitchen string. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 325°F and continue roasting for another hour or so or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.  Remove from the oven. Let cool for about 20 minutes, and then refrigerate to chill the meat.
  • Make French dressing. Blend the vinegar, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard.  Beat in the olive oil in a steady stream. Set aside.
  • Cook the rice and refrigerate to cool.
  • Slice the radishes and scallions and mince the green pepper, gherkins, parsley and chives and refrigerate them separately. Do not combine the ingredients until just before serving.
  • When you're ready to serve, toss the rice, the chopped and sliced vegetables and the French dressing. Slice the pork roast into ¼ inch slices.
  • Spoon a bed of rice salad onto a large serving platter and artfully arrange the pork slices on the rice.  Serve the rest of the salad in a bowl.
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