Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Last Roast of Summer: Island Pork Tenderloin Salad

If you want to savor summer one last time, make this pork roast salad.  It looks like a lot of ingredients – and there are – but, remember, it’s a whole meal.

Actually, you could make it anytime this winter, whenever you want to be reminded that there is a sun and there are warm places out there, because it’s all cooked indoors.  A little stove top searing of the meat, a little roasting and then the salad assembly. 

This meal combines the warmth of the pork (and its spicy seasonings) and the cool freshness of the citrus pieces and the creaminess of the avocado.  All just plain yummy. 

I love fall; it’s my favorite season. And I love September best of all.  (Did you know that when people are asked what their favorite month is 9 out of 10 people will pick their birthday month?  I feel sorry for January birthday people.)

Still, I don’t like what’s ahead.  It seems like winter lasts six months around here.  I’m glad to know I have my daughter in Tampa to visit!

Remember this dish when you want a taste of a winter getaway.  It just may transport you.

Island Pork Tenderloin Salad
Gourmet May 2003

For pork:
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pork tenderloins (2 ¼ to 2 ½ pounds total)
2 tablespoons olive oil

For glaze:
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Tabasco

For vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder, toasted
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup olive oil

For salad:
3 navel oranges
5 ounces baby spinach, trimmed (6 cups leaves)
4 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (from 1 medium head)
1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into thin strips
½ cup golden raisins
2 firm-ripe avocados

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Stir together salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and cinnamon, then coat pork with spice rub.
Heat oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until just beginning to smoke, then brown pork, turning, about 4 minutes total.  Remove pan from heat but leave pork in skillet.
Stir together brown sugar, garlic and Tabasco and pat on top of each tenderloin.  Roast in the middle of the oven until thermometer inserted diagonally in center of each tenderloin registers 140 degrees F, about 20 minutes.  Let pork stand at room temperature 10 minutes.  (Temperature will rise to about 155 degrees F while resting.)
Make vinaigrette while pork roasts.  Whisk together juices, mustard curry powder, salt and pepper, then add oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified.
Prepare salad ingredients while pork stands.  Cut peel, including white pith, from oranges with a sharp knife, then cut oranges crosswise into ¼ inch thick slices.  Toss spinach, cabbage, bell pepper and raisins in a large bowl with about ¼ cup vinaigrette.  Halve, pit and peel avocados, then cut diagonally into ¼ inch slices.
Cut pork at a 45-degree angle into ½ inch slices.  Line a large platter with dressed salad and arrange pork, oranges and avocados in rows on top.  Drizzle some vinaigrette over avocados and oranges.  Pour any juices over pork.


  1. What a wonderful meal! Fantastic flavors - YUM :) I'm with you - I love September but really don't enjoy the winter months which seem to last forever. This dish is a perfect summer one - lovely.

  2. This looks lovely, Rosemary. I love the combination of flavors, and I think with the addition of a bit more heat this would be perfect for us. I'm one of those January people and I detest the month (and February!). Growing up in Ohio has not endeared me to winter in the least.

  3. January birthday girl here! Fall is my favorite time of year and, I think, September is my favorite month. It is the doorway to fall.

    This salad looks delicious and I'm pretty sure I have that issue of Gourmet (just can't part with them).


  4. Oh my goodness this sounds delicious! Wish I had the time to make it :(

  5. What a beautiful entree salad! We LOVE pork tenderloin, so I'm always keeping my eye out for delicious recipes like yours :)

  6. What a spectacular recipe, Rosemary. It is beautiful and I'm sure it tastes every bit as good as it looks. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  7. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful meal! The salad is perfect with roasted pork loin. I like the little kick you added to the glaze.

  8. Summer on a plate! A great way to 'warm' things up in your head. It looks amazing :)

  9. Oh, that sounds lovely. I love the flavors you have put together in this dish!

  10. Summer is my favorite season (and I was born in the hottest month) and I never want to let it go. You are right, this dish would be perfect all year long and bring summer back any time you pleased.

  11. What a lovely blog you have. Thank you for joining me; I was born in December, not the best time for my kids to come and visit but last year was my 70th and they all drove up to celebrate. Love the name of your blog and I will folllow you too.

  12. Great photo of this and the pork looks so tender.
    I wanted to also answer your question Annette is a relations actually, but they left when she was 4yrs old to go to Cali. So I don't know about Steak in a bag. Her cousins still live in Utica they may know. Next time I go up for a visit I will ask them... thanks for your visit

  13. Yummy salad with pork. I loved the flavours...this is making me drool!!

  14. Love the island flavors in your pork tenderloin, Rosemary!
    Amazing dish, and great recipe!
    Thanks for sharing:DDD


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