As some of you may know when I am in the kitchen I prefer to experiment with different ingredients; rather than follow a strict recipe. I enjoy the freedom of cooking and ability to try different combinations. Recently, my boyfriend surprised me with an exciting array of new cookbooks. At first, I felt quite apprehensive, but once I began browsing my books I instantly wanted to fire up my oven! I began thumbing through Barefoot Contessa's Back to Basics and decided to make two delicious Fall inspired dishes. I paired Ina's herb-marinated loin of pork and accompanied it with her pan roasted root vegetable recipe. In order to save on time I prepared a quick pot of Near East wild mushroom and herb rice and instantly had a healthy, delicious meal! To ensure maximum flavor I marinated the pork over night and wow did this pay off! You could actually taste most of the ingredients in the marinade. The lemon juice and lemon zest added a bright kick of flavor to the succulent pork. The pan roasted vegetables were simple to prepare and came out tender and bursting with flavor. You can't imagine how sweet parsnips and turnips turn out until you roast them in a little butter. My first endeavor into my new cookbooks was a SUCCESS!
Herb-marinated loin of pork
- 1 lemon, zest grated
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 6 lemons)
- Good olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt
- 3 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 teaspoons salt in a sturdy 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat. Sprinkle the tenderloins generously with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large oven-proof saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork tenderloins on all sides until golden brown. Place the saute pan in the oven and roast the tenderloins for 10 to 15 minutes or until the meat registers 137 degrees F at the thickest part. Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve in 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. The thickest part of the tenderloin will be quite pink (it's just fine!) and the thinnest part will be well done. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm, or at room temperature with the juices that collect in the platter.
Pan roasted root vegetables
|4||Tbsp (½ stick) unsalted butter|
|1||white turnip, unpeeled and 1-inch diced|
|2||carrots, 1-inch diced|
|2||small parsnips, peeled and 1-inch diced|
|½||celery root, peeled and 1 - inch diced|
|8||Brussels sprouts, halved if large|
|4||fresh thyme sprigs|
|1½||tsp kosher salt|
|½||tsp freshly gound black pepper|
|2||celery ribs, 1-inch diced|