I love Wednesdays because I know there's always something to look forward to. Not every day is like that. In fact, most days are pretty mundane. Get up, exercise, do chores, cook dinner, go to sleep. I'm not complaining. Things could be a lot worse.
But Wednesdays are special. That's NYT Dining day. I know that even if the news on every other page of the newspaper is bad, that the Dining section is guaranteed to make me happy. I know that no matter what is happing at home or abroad, Melissa Clark or David Tanis are sure to have written about something I am anxious to cook.
It really doesn't take much to make me happy.
Last Wednesday was a real cooking bonanza. So much so that I made a couple of recipes from the Dining section.
This recipe for cold roast pork with green bean salad is absolutely perfect for these hot summer days. In fact, it's the kind of meal that I always envision being served at one of those really long tables in the middle of a tuscan garden. Or a garden in the South of France. Or a backyard in Pittsburgh.
Recipe: Cold Roast Pork with Green Bean Salad
David Tanis, New York Times, July 23, 2014
For the Pork:
1 boneless pork loin roast, about 4 pounds
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fennel fronds, plus extra fronds for garnish
2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed in a mortar or spice mill
1 teaspoon fennel pollen (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons roughly chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons roughly chopped sage
2 tablespoons roughly chopped marjoram
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (peperoncino)
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Salad:
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound green beans, or a mixture of green beans, yellow beans and Romano beans, trimmed
2 heads fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
For the Pork:
Season pork loin generously on all sides with salt (about 2 tablespoons).
In a small bowl, combine garlic, fennel fronds, fennel seeds, fennel pollen if using, lemon zest, rosemary, sage, marjoram, red pepper flakes, black pepper and olive oil. Rub and pat mixture on loin, then wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for several hours, or preferably overnight. Bring to room temperature before roasting.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a rack in a roasting pan. Put loin on the rack and roast for about an hour, until a thermometer registers 130 degrees. Let cool to room temperature before serving. If desired, after cooling you can wrap and refrigerate loin for up to 24 hours, then return to room temperature.
For the Salad:
For the dressing, put garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and whisk in olive oil.
Blanch beans in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, then drain and cool. Put beans and fennel in a salad bowl, season lightly with salt and toss with dressing. (Dress salad about 20 minutes before serving.)
To serve, cut roast into 1/4-inch slices. arrange on a platter and garnish with reserved fennel fronds. Pass the salad separately.
YIELD 6 to 8 servings