Recipe: Grilled Pork Noodle Salad

Here’s a way to exercise two great summer cooking options: The grill and the salad.

Grilled Pork Noodle Salad

Yield: 4 servings

3 boneless pork chops, 1/2-inch thick, about 12 ounces total

1/2 cup bottled ginger vinaigrette salad dressing or balsamic vinaigrette

3/4 teaspoon anise seed, crushed

1 7-ounce package rice sticks

1/3 cup salad oil

2 cups torn romaine lettuce leaves

1-1/2 cups peeled, seeded and thinly sliced cucumber

1/2 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves

1/2 cup coarsely chopped Thai basil leaves or basil leaves

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts

Fresh cilantro sprigs

Lime (optional)

Place chops in self-sealing plastic bag. Add 1/4 cup ginger vinaigrette and 1/4 teaspoon anise seeds. Seal bag. Marinate in refrigerator 1 to 4 hours, turning bag occasionally. Drain and discard marinade. Grill chops on rack of uncovered grill over direct medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes or until juices run clear and an instant read thermometer registers 160 degrees F; turn chops once. Place on cutting board; let stand 5 minutes. Slice diagonally.

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain in a colander; rinse with cold water until water runs clear. Let noodles drain 20 minutes; with kitchen shears, snip noodles into 3 to 4 inch lengths. In a bowl, toss noodles with 1/3 cup oil and remaining anise seeds. Cover and set aside.

In a bowl toss lettuce, cucumber, and herbs. If preparing ahead of time (up to 4 hours), cover with damp paper towels and refrigerate.

Toss greens with remaining 1/4 cup ginger vinaigrette. Divide noodles among four plates or shallow soup bowls; top with greens and sliced pork. Top with carrot, peanuts, and cilantro. If desired, squeeze fresh lime on salads.