Roast Pork Loin with Nopalito and Turk’s Cap Salad

Photo by Rick Cortez

Serves 6

    For the salad:
  • 1 pound fresh nopalitos
  • spines removed, cleaned and chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup chopped spring onions or scallions
  • ½ cup sliced radishes
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • 2 tablespoons Texas olive oil
  • ½ cup Turk’s Cap petals for garnish
  • For the pork:
  • 4 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (2½-pound) boneless pork loin, trimmed

Make the salad:

  1. Blanch nopalitos in boiling salted water for 1 minute. Strain and rinse under cold water.
  2. In a bowl, combine nopalitos with salt, onions, radishes, lime juice, and olive oil. Add more lime and salt to taste.

Make the pork:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place a baking rack inside of a roasting pan.
  2. Mix thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper together and thoroughly coat pork loin. Place loin fat side up into the roasting pan, then into oven.
  3. Cook until pork reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, and then carve into ½-inch slices.
  4. To serve, place salad alongside pork and garnish with Turk’s Cap petals.
  • Recipe by Steve McHugh of Cured at Pearl in San Antonio, Texas

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