Father’s Day is fast approaching and it’s time to show our dads the love and that you care about his tastes as well as his waist. This recipe from the National Pork Board is loaded with flavor and punch but no need to worry about the scale.
People often think of bacon when they hear the word pork, right? If that is you, then you need to rethink this protein-packed choice. Several cuts of pork meet the United States government’s guidelines for lean including this tenderloin. As a matter of fact pork tenderloin is as lean as a skinless chicken breast. One of the easiest ways to find lean cuts of pork is to look for the word “loin” in the name. Practice portion control when selecting pork as a main course. An average serving of pork is 3 oz. cooked and is similar to a deck of cards in size. When serving this dish or ones like it, consider offering vegetable heavy side dishes or grilled veggies to complement the tenderloin and provide satiety. Pork delivers when it comes to nutrients; nine of them to be exact; for example high-quality protein, selenium, niacin, zinc and potassium just to name a few.
So treat your dad and yourself right this Sunday and prepare this delicious and nutritious recipe for your celebration.
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/2 pounds, trimmed
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 ounces baby spinach, rinsed but not dried
1 small red bell pepper, roasted, seeded and diced (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 tablespoons Italian-seasoned bread crumbs, dry
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, packed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
To make chimichurri: Process all ingredients together in blender, occasionally stopping to scrape down sides, until smooth. Transfer chimichurri to a serving bowl, set aside (makes about 1/2 cup chimichurri).
To make pork: Butterfly pork, cutting tenderloin lengthwise, stopping about a quarter inch from the bottom. Open pork, make a lengthwise cut on each meaty side, and open again so pork is about 5 inches wide.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.Add shallot and garlic and cook until shallot softens, about 1 minute. A handful at a time, stir in spinach, letting each batch wilt.Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is tender, about 3 minutes.Drain in sieve and let cool until easy to handle. Press hard on spinach mixture with spoon to remove excess liquid. Transfer to bowl and stir in bell pepper, cheese, breadcrumbs, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Spread filling on pork. Roll up lengthwise and tie crosswise with kitchen twine (or unwaxed plain dental floss) in three or four places. Brush with remaining teaspoon oil and season with remaining salt and pepper.
Prepare outdoor grill for indirect and direct cooking over medium-high heat (about 400 degrees F). Grill tenderloin over direct heat, with the lid closed, turning occasionally, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Move to indirect heat and continue grilling, with the lid closed, until the internal temperature is 145 degrees F (medium rare) to 160 degrees F (medium) on a digital meat thermometer, 17 to 22 minutes more. Remove from heat and let rest for 3 minutes.
Remove twine. Cut tenderloin crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Serve with chimichurri on side. Leftover chimichurri can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Serve with roasted potato wedges and grilled zucchini; currently found at most farmers markets
Calories: 290 calories
Wine Pairing – Bethel Heights Pinot Noir
Pinot noir is a perfect pair any time of year with many pork dishes and it is an especially good choice for a lighter summer red wine that can be consumed in warmer weather months. I chose this Bethel Heights Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley for its softness and tart, red-cherry crispness. This wine has plenty of elegant, ripe, dark-fruit balanced with an earthy backbone. Each sip bring to mind dates or figs with hints of dried herbs. Since this pork tenderloin doesn’t have a high fat content this wine will match a lighter type of meat without being overpowering.
If you are enjoying this wine in warmer temperatures it is perfectly fine to serve it slightly chilled to offset the hotter climate. Do not let the wine “cook” or get too hot in the sun as the nuances of this wine will disappear.