Monday, March 4, 2013

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Salsa Verde over Spinach and Arugula

Sometimes when you see a recipe you have to wonder, who in the world thought this would all go together.  This pork tenderloin has some zing... no doubt about it.  However, it is soft, moist, juicy and full of flavor.  Even my kids gobble it up!  I hardly had time to grab a picture before everyone was grabbing for their plates asking if they could eat.  We make this probably once a week.  In the summer time we skewer it and cook it on the grill... in winter, I pan sear and then throw it in the oven. 

I guess what makes this dinner a little funny is it has 3 different acidic tones.  For the marinade, it is white wine vinegar.  For the salsa verde it is lemon (juice and zest) and for the salad.. balsamic!  Yes, I do know what your thinking... pucker city.... but not really.  It is just perking things up.  Trust me you won't be disappointed.

Ingredients for the Pork
Feeds family of 4 -- if you want leftovers make 2 :)

1lb pork tenderloin
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 large clove of garlic minced (2 cloves if they are small)
1/2 shallot minced
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
salt to taste

Whisk all the ingredients, except pork, together in a large bowl. Start with one tablespoon of honey and add more if needed... add a pinch of salt and more if needed but don't over salt as you will salt your pork.
Cut pork into chunks. If doing indoor, cut into 4 big chunks, if cooking outside on the grill, cut into about a 2 bite size chunks. Put the pork in the bowl of marinade for 30 to 40 mins. Rotate pork in marinade a few times before cooking.

Pre-heat oven to 400 

Heat your pan with a little olive oil or pre-heat grill. Only heat to medium high heat as you want to sear your meat but don't want to burn your marinade. As you take your hunks o'pork out of the bowl, sprinkle with salt then place hunks of pork in heated skillet... and sear each side. If doing on grill, skewer your meat and grill on skewers. Use the remaining marinade in the bowl to baste over your meat as you turn it. Trust me this is a must do! So turn and baste.
Once all sides are seared, put skillet in oven for meat to finish cooking. About 20 mins. If using grill, rotate kebabs and baste until just under done... remove from grill and let rest about 15 mins before serving. Remove from oven and let rest about 15 mins before slicing and serving.

TIP:  Don't marinade your meat for more than 30 mins.  15 to 30 minutes is all it needs and your meat should be standing by to get the chill off for at least 30 mins prior to putting in the marinade.  If you marinade too long, your meat will start to cook in the vinegar and will loose the tenderness.  

Ingredients for the Salsa Verde
(You can make this up to a day in advance, the longer it sits the better it gets)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed and chopped
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1 clove garlic, minced
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 jalapeno, seeded and minced (about 1teaspoon)
1 shallot, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Spoon this over your meat once plated before serving!  My kids don't like the salsa verde it's too spicy.  They do however, like if I reserve a little of the marinade before I put the meat in to spoon over their meat.

This is particularly awesome served over a bed of arugula and baby spinach that is lightly dressed with a little balsamic, olive oil and salt and pepper!

Serve whatever other veggie you want! Add some pomegranate to your salad for an extra kick!

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