The toughest part of this meal is cutting the toy box tomatoes in half. You can be eating dinner in about an hour.
The crusty, tender slices of pork tenderloin are bathed in a pan sauce scented with garlic, sage and rosemary. The marinated toy box tomato and cucumber salad served over a bed of baby arugula is the perfect simple side.
Just marinate the tenderloin as you make the tomato salad. Brown the pork on top of the stove and roast in a hot oven. Slice and serve with the tomato salad on the side. Add a crusty loaf of bread and a bottle of sangiovese, aglianico or other zesty red and you’re all set. Buon appetito!
Roasted Pork Tenderloin
- 1 pork tenderloin, about a pound
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 branches rosemary
- 6 sage leaves
- 4 tablespoons EVOO
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Smash and peel the garlic cloves, bruise the sage and rosemary.
- Put 2 tablespoons of the EVOO in a baking dish. Add the garlic and herbs and cover well with the oil. Spread the garlic and herbs out evenly in the center of the dish so they will make a bed for the entire length of the tenderloin.
- Place the dish aside and let the pork marinate for 30 minutes. Roll the tenderloin in the oil several times to ensure that the herb-infused oil is evenly distributed over the outside of the pork.
- Heat a saute pan large enough to hold the tenderloin over high heat. (I use a big old cast iron skillet.) When the pan is hot add 2 tablespoons of EVOO.
- When the oil begins to ripple place the tenderloin in the pan. Leave it be until a crust forms. Then brown the tenderloin the other sides.
- Put the browned pork back in the baking dish on top of the garlic and herb bed and put the dish in the hot oven.
- While the tenderloin is roasting return the skillet to medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the wine and scrape up the fond--the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir so the fond melts into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and simmer stirring occasionally until the wine is reduced by half. Set the sauce aside.
- Roast the tenderloin for about 30 minutes or until the internal temperature is about 145 and the juices run clear. Take it out of the oven.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing. The temperature will continue to rise to about 160 but the roast will still be moist.
- While the roast is resting pour the pan sauce in the roasting dish while it is still hot. Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the dish and stir so they melt into the sauce.
- Strain the gravy into a small pan and keep on a very low simmer.
- Slice the tenderloin and spread the slices on a serving platter. Pour over the warm pan sauce and serve.
- Serves 4.
Toy Box Tomato & Cucumber Salad
- 1 pint toy box tomatoes (a mixture of small multicolored grape, cherry and pear tomatoes)
- 1/2 cucumber
- 4 leaves fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons EVOO
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups baby arugula
- Cut the toy box tomatoes in half and place in a bowl.
- Peel the cucumber and cut into pieces about the size of the tomato halves and place in the bowl.
- Rip the basil into pieces and add to the bowl.
- Add the sea salt and EVOO and mix well.
- Let the salad sit for about 30 minutes. Stir in occasionally.
- Set a small handful of arugula aside. Place the remaining arugula evenly on a serving platter.
- Spoon out the toy box salad evenly over the arugula.
- Sprinkle the reserved arugula over the top of the tomato salad as a garnish.
- Sprinkle the remaining juice from the bowl over the toy box salad.
- Serves 4 as a side dish or as part of an antipasti course.