Perfect Picnic Fare: Paprika-Rubbed Pork and Egg Salad Nicoise
Looking to spice up your next picnic? The latest issue of MIX Magazine, for which I did my Newport restaurant reviews, offers some fresh suggestions. And the food tastes just as good when prepared and even consumed inside.
The Nicoise Egg Salad showcased a tantalizing array of flavors. I cut the eggs back to six, since I’m not a big egg salad fan, and added more tuna and chopped garden-fresh cucumbers instead to soak up the garlicky mayonnaise. A dollop of the fresh pesto I had made added some zest. Delicious with fresh sliced tomatoes. It was certainly worth splurging on Oregon albacore tuna for this dish.
Though we tend toward vegetarianism at home, we seem to be eating more and more meat these days. Perhaps it’s because Oregon has so many local, sustainable sources that we can feel good about (farms close enough that we can visit, which most seem to encourage). On 10 percent off member day at the food co-op, I sprung for a Lonely Lane pork tenderloin with this MIX recipe in mind. I need to get more into spice rubs. Applying the aromatic blend really gives you a chance to viscerally connect with the meat before slamming it in the oven or slapping it on the grill. Smoked paprika can be an elusive ingredient to find, but standard paprika is no substitute. And the earthy seasoning contrasted nicely with the tart onions and sweet blue cheese.
Making up the pickled red onions was extra fun since the bulbs came from my garden. Note to self: plant more onions next year. I’ve had real success with onions, garlic, leeks, lettuce and herbs — items so indispensible in the kitchen but often overlooked. When you’ve got them in the garden, they’re always on hand. Just two little cucumber plants have been incredibly prolific as well. I’m grateful and still in awe that I didn’t kill off everything.