Strawberry Brined Grilled Pork Loin with Spicy Strawberry Chutney and Asparagus with Wilted Greens and Herb Aioli | CUESA

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Strawberry Brined Grilled Pork Loin with Spicy Strawberry Chutney and Asparagus with Wilted Greens and Herb Aioli


Aaron French, The Sunny Side Café

This recipe was demonstrated by Aaron French of The Sunny Side Café at CUESA’s Market to Table programs on April 26, 2008.

Serves 6


Pork and chutney

1 4-to 5-pound pork loin
6 tablespoons salt, divided
1 cup yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 pints strawberries, stems removed and halved
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon allspice
4 cups water
1 cup real maple syrup
2 chile de arbol

Asparagus and wilted greens
1 bunch asparagus
1 small bunch of at least two kinds of hearty greens, such as rainbow chard and mustard greens
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste  

Herb aioli
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ cups olive oil
1 egg yolk
¼ cup fresh herbs, stems removed  


For the pork

  1. Thoroughly wash the pork in cold water and pat dry.  Slice the pork loin across the grain into medallions ⅛ inch thick.  Trim off excess fat, place the sliced pork in a baking dish and sprinkle evenly with 3 tablespoons salt.  Add onion, strawberries, garlic, peppercorns, coriander, allspice and remaining 3 tablespoons salt.

  2. In a sauce pan combine water, maple syrup and the chiles.  Heat on high until boiling.  Pour the boiling water and maple syrup into the pork pan.  Press the pork down into the water and make sure it is covered.  Cover the pan tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least one day, preferably two, and up to four.
  3. Pre-heat grill.  Remove the pork from the pan; reserve the marinade for the chutney, including the strawberries and onions.  Grill each slice of pork, approximately 2 minutes per side.  Do not overcook.

For the chutney

Pour the reserved liquid into a saucepan and cook for about 1 hour on low to medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Cook to the consistency of a thin jam. Purée mixture with an immersion blender or in a blender.

For the asparagus and wilted greens

  1. Start a large pot of well-salted water to boil.

  2. Break off bottoms of asparagus.
  3. Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 45 seconds.  Shock asparagus in bowl of cold ice water.  Set aside.
  4. Rinse greens, remove stems as necessary, and slice in ½-inch strips.  Heat olive oil in large sauté pan with lid.  Add greens and stir for about 30 seconds.  Add ⅛ cup water, cover, and remove from heat.  Leave covered for several minutes until greens are wilted.  Add salt and pepper, if desired, and arrange in thin layers on small plates.  Top with asparagus spears, and serve with herb aioli.


For the herb aioli

Place all ingredients except the olive oil in a small food processor, and turn on.  Slowly pour the olive oil into the running processor slowly to emulsify the oil into the mayonnaise mixture.



CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »