On wintery, cold days a citrus salad is an easy way to bring a bit of sunshine to your dinner table. Add roast pork tenderloin (aka fillet) and you have a meal that’s light, scrumptious, and can be easily made any night of the week. Pork tenderloin, a very tender cut of meat, is a good source of protein, low in fat, and more B vitamins than many other types of meat…check! for all who are into the New Year with weight loss goals. Most pork tenderloins weigh around 1 to 1.5 lbs which is perfect for 2 people (with leftovers). Some grocery stores bundle 2 tenderloins in one package but don’t worry if this seems like a lot. My solution? Cook both at the same time and use for leftovers in a Thai pork salad, sandwich, pasta dish, fajitas OR freeze the other tenderloin for future use.
1 pork tenderloin
1 navel orange, peeled and segmented
1 pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented
1 blood orange, peeled and segmented
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced (use a mandoline)
2 tablespoons green olives, pitted and sliced (optional but good)
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
basil leaves, thinly sliced
Marinade for tenderloin –
1 large clove of garlic, chopped and mash into a paste
handful cilantro (aka coriander) leaves, finely chopped
mint leaves, finely chopped
1 anchovy fillet (packed in oil), minced
On a plate, combine marinade ingredients and drizzle enough oil to bind the ingredients (about 1 to 2 tablespoons). Add tenderloin and rub marinade all over. Let sit while oven is heating up. In the meantime, add orange, grapefruit, fennel and olives to a bowl. Leave the blood orange segments to the last when getting ready to serve otherwise it will stain the other fruits and fennel.
When oven is up to temperature, remove pan with oven mits. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, tenderloin and place back in the oven to roast for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the tenderloin over, reduce oven temperature to 400f and roast for a further 10 to 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 140f-145f. Remove from oven, loosely tent meat with foil and let rest 5 minutes. While the meat is resting, add basil to the salad and toss.
Slice pork and divide evenly among plates. Use some of the drippings from the skillet and spoon over tenderloin. Add citrus salad along with avocado slices and blood orange segments. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: In lieu of cilantro, use a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary and mince. When segmenting the orange and grapefruit over a bowl, reserve a tablespoon or so of the juice and drizzle this over the salad. Let the orange and grapefruit come to room temperature before using. Want a bit more greenery and a peppery taste to the salad? Add a handful or so of rocket (arugula). Enjoy!