A four month hiatus from blogging seems like long enough, don’t you think? Let me catch you up on what’s been going on since last we met: work, diaper changes, feeding, crying, numerous trips to a local farm, and a few other things I can’t remember. The last few months have been a bit of a blur, leaving little time for cooking.
Though it felt like I would never again be able to create a recipe, cook that recipe, style the food, and then actually photograph it, I knew I had to try when I made this pork. I recently took a trip to Penzeys Spices in Arlington, MA, to replenish my spice cabinet. Um, have you guys been there? That place is amazing! First of all, they have a parking lot, which isn’t always a given in the greater Boston area. Second, the aisles in the store were so wide that I could easily maneuver my stroller all around. Third, the variety and quality of the spices were superb. I could barely limit myself to the seven that I chose, which means I’m probably due for another trip back there soon. I now understand why Ina Garten makes such a big deal about her “really good” vanilla/mayonnaise/everything else she uses; it makes a difference!
After Penzeys, I bought some fennel bulbs and pork tenderloin to make something yummy and a little different for dinner. I wanted to roast the fennel to mellow the flavor a bit, and decided to add pears for a little sweetness. A balsamic and oil dressing gave it all a tart finish. I rubbed the pork with a mixture of the spices that complemented the pork as well as the veggies; warm, sharp, and spicy. Since I love cooking, but hate doing dishes, I found a way to cook it all on the same pan.
The ingredient list is a bit long, but the prep and cooking are easy enough to make this a perfect weeknight option. To save even more time, you can cut the veggies and fruit 1-2 days in advance, and mix the spice rub up to a week in advance (and store it in an airtight container). None of the amounts are absolute, either; if you don’t like one of the spices, swap it out for something else. You could add butternut squash, carrots, or a different type of onion to the veggies. Apples would be a great substitute for pears. Regardless of which combo of veggies and spices you use, I highly recommend a meat thermometer. Pork is really easy to overcook or undercook, and a thermometer will give you a perfectly cooked tenderloin every time. I got mine for <$10 at Ikea; though I’ve had to replace it a few times in 10 years, I think it’s been worth it.
I’d love to see how this recipe worked out for you! Tag @whitecoatpinkapron on Instagram or Facebook with pictures of your dinner!
- 1 fennel bulb, green parts removed, cored and cut into ⅛ths
- ½ large red onion, cut into ⅛ths
- 1 pear, cored and cut into ⅛ths
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard
- 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-1/2 pound pork tenderloin
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Place the fennel, onion, and pear on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the vinegar and olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Use your hands to toss, and then spread everything out evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the fenugreek, coriander, garlic powder, black pepper, mustard, and salt together.
- Generously coat the pork tenderloin all over with the spice mix.
- Remove the vegetables from the oven. Move them to the sides of the pan, and put the tenderloin in the middle.
- Bake until the internal temperature of the tenderloin reaches 145F, about 24 minutes. At that point, the veggies should be caramelized.
- Remove, and allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve with the vegetables.