The Surprisingly Summer-Friendly Pork Loin

I think of big cuts of meat as winter fare. They require sturdy roasting pans, leaden Dutch ovens, and other muscle-straining cookware that makes me feel like I really should spend more time lifting weights than baking cakes.

In summer, dinners are generally about thinner cuts I can slap on the grill quickly. A few chicken breasts, a skirt steak, maybe, or a slender salmon filet. Large meat cuts rarely enter my brain, much less my shopping cart.

Except yesterday, when I purchased a three pound pork loin and made one of the smartest cooking decisions I've made in a while. I cut little slits all over the roast, rubbed it with a paste of olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, and salt, and set it in the fridge to hang out all day, covered tightly with plastic wrap. When I got home, I grilled it until the center reached 150 degrees on my meat thermometer. After a nice little rest, long enough for me to unload the dishwasher, pour cool drinks, and toss a salad—dinner was served.

But the best part wasn't even that dinner, though we all ate plenty. It was the future leftovers I've got planned for the week: fried rice, salsa-drenched burritos, and, tonight, Cubanos—pressed pork sandwiches with Swiss cheese, ham, and pickles. (Here's a recipe that calls for turkey. Just swap the pork in instead.)

With all the leftovers on tap for the week, I’ll have plenty of time to lift weights.

Or bake cakes.


Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule.


What's your favorite dish made with leftovers? Chime in below!

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