Time to break out the grill!
by Les Dames d’Escoffier Chicago
edited by Carol Mighton Haddix
from Chicago Cooks
(Surrey Books, 2007)
Makes 4 servings
This recipe is one of my favorites for summer beach vacations and spontaneous entertaining. It is easy to prepare and flavorful, and the colors of the dish are gorgeous, whether presented on plates or on communal platters. The pork tenderloin is rubbed with a zesty spice rub and topped with sweet, savory salsa, and the fresh spinach salad is tossed in a slightly sweet and spicy balsamic vinaigrette. Enjoy this recipe anytime you want a taste of summer!. —Dana Benigno
For the pork tenderloin
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of ground red pepper (cayenne)
Olive oil (enough to make a paste from the spices)
2 pork tenderloins (about 12 to 16 ounces each)
For the peach salsa
3 large ripe peaches, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons minced red onion
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno, or other chili pepper (optional)
For the spinach salad
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, sliced
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons green onions, sliced 4 to 6 cups (9 ounces) baby spinach, stems removed, well rinsed, patted dry
1. For the pork, combine all spices in a small bowl. Stir in enough oil to make a paste. Rub the pork on all sides with the spice paste.
2. For peach salsa, combine the peaches, onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, and salt in a medium bowl; toss to combine.
3. For spinach salad, combine the vinegar, syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper in the bottom of a large salad bowl; whisk together to combine. Add the olive oil; whisk together and set aside. Have the remaining salad ingredients ready.
4. Build a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Place the pork on the grill rack; cover and grill, turning occasionally, until the pork is slightly pink in the center, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pork to a wooden board, tent with foil, and let stand 10 minutes.
5. To serve, place all vegetables on top of the salad dressing and toss to coat. Carve the pork into thin slices. Serve the pork accompanied by the peach salsa and spinach salad.