In this post you get two recipes for the price of one! Both the salad and the pork kebabs are wonderful recipes I’ve made many times. Sometimes I make them together, but each of them can work in a number of other menus. However, I do especially like them together since the flavors work so very well, with the mellow spice and smokiness of the pork complementing the salty, creamy, crunchy, and earthy flavors of the salad. I find that the combination of the two produces a nicely balanced meal and one that always leaves me very happy.
One thing I love about this recipe is how forgiving it is. Don’t have pork loin? Use pork shoulder or boneless pork ribs. Either can be substituted in the recipe with fine results.
Don’t have a grill or your grill has unexpectedly run out of fuel? (Not that I know anyone who has planned to grill dinner and found there was not a speck of propane around. That certainly does not describe me.) Well then a ridged grill pan will do the job. Or a broiling pan in the oven. It’s all good. Just use high enough heat, keeping an eye on the temperature and you will end up with tender, juicy meat all blackened about the edges from the yogurt.
The other half of the equation is the salad. I usually get the bulgur going while the pork is still marinating so it has time to steep in the water and then cool off. Get it all drained and fluffed up before you mix it in with all the vegetables and cheese.
And the salad is also forgiving. I would consider the cucumbers and the feta cheese to be the backbone of the salad. (with the bulgur) But the other vegetables can come and go depending on what is freshly available to me on any particular week. Bell peppers, carrots, and scallions are some vegetables which can be added to mix.
Look how pretty it is! All those purples, greens, reds, and whites encouraging you to make this and eat it now. Which we did once the kebabs were off the grill and I had taken pictures of it all. Main courses are hard to put on this blog since I’m surrounded by hungry, impatient family whenever I dare try to take pictures of our dinner before we eat it.
But it didn’t take long before we were all sitting around the table, the wine had been poured, and we were digging into the meal. Sipping wine, or milk as the case may be, enjoying good food, and chatting about our days.
- 1 lb boneless pork loin
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ¾ cup bulgur, medium grind
- 1½ cups boiling water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 small cucumbers, diced
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
- 15 kalamata olives, sliced into rings
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, diced fine
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 clove garlic, blanched and pressed
- Cube pork into 1½ inch cubes. Put the pork in a one gallon reclosable plastic bag.
- Mix together all marinade ingredients - yogurt, salt, garlic, paprika, cumin, and oregano. Pour marinade over pork. Close bag and make sure the marinade completely covers the pork.
- Put the bag onto a plate and refrigerate. Marinate for 6 hours or overnight.
- Preheat a grill on high. (Or heat up a grill pan on the stove. I've done this when the grill ran out of gas and it worked just fine.)
- Remove the pork from the marinade, wiping off excess yogurt as you go. Skewer pork on 3 or 4 skewers. I use metal since they are reusable and I don't have to worry about soaking the skewers. If you use wood skewers make sure to soak them for at least 30 minutes.
- Grill the kebabs for 10-15 minutes, depending on how hot your grill gets; or until the temperature of the pork reaches 145F.
- Plan on making the salad while the pork is finishing up marinating. That way it will be done and on the table while you are grilling up the pork.
- In a medium bowl, add boiling water and salt to bulgur. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. (Test a bit to check for doneness.) Once done, pour bulgur into a fine mesh strainer and allow excess water to drain out. The bulgur will take a few minutes to cool and drain so leave it there while you make the rest of the salad.
- Prepare all the salad ingredients as directed and put them in a large serving bowl.
- Whisk together salad dressing.
- If the bulgur is still a little wet, put a kitchen towel on top of the vegetables in the salad bowl and pour the bulgur into that to let it soak up the last of the water. That'll only take a few seconds; when done, flip the bulgur into the bowl and remove the towel.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.