Carnitas is one of my favorite Paleo meals, hands down. It’s fatty and succulent, easy to make, and feeds a crowd. Or, if you’re lucky like me, there’s no crowd and you get a ton of amazing leftovers.
I will not lie to you. This is the best carnitas recipe out there. Why? Because it’s easy to make, not too fussy, and yet you get all the crispy, caramelized edges that are the true marks of a great carnitas recipe. Sure, you could slap your pork in a crock-pot, but you won’t get the crispy-crisp. On the other end of that spectrum, I’ve tried recipes that involve boiling then shredding then returning to the oven…no thank you.
So I’m using Melissa Joulwan’s recipe as my jumping off point here. I ate this salad like 37 times last week. Okay, maybe 4. But that’s saying something because I never tired of it. In fact, I’m craving it again already. Excuse me while I drool on myself.
Sturdy spring greens are great with this. If you have access to Organic Girl’s salad greens at your market, I’m really digging their Supergreens blend. Or good ol’ romaine would do just fine. You could also take all of these ingredients and wrap ‘em up in butter lettuce leaves for carnitas lettuce wraps. The sky’s the limit. Just be sure to put it in your face.
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove; minced, sprinkled with salt, then smashed with the flat of a knife
salt and pepper, to taste
4 servings salad greens or shredded romaine lettuce (at least 1 cup per person)
1/4 head of red cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
4 servings carnitas, prepared and shredded (at least 1 cup per person)
2 avocados, sliced
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1) In bottom of large salad bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, garlic, and S&P. Add lettuce greens, cabbage, and cilantro. Toss to combine.
2) If carnitas is leftover, re-warm slightly either on the stove with a small amount of water (like 1/4 cup) or in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each session, until desired temp is reached.
3) Plate the salad mixture and top each serving with carnitas, 1/2 avocado, and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds. Serve it up, yo.