Monday, July 19, 2010

Tuscan Pork Loin with Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Last night we had my parents and my husband's parents over for dinner. It had been awhile since we had either over, and I'm not sure if we've ever had both over at the same time. It was a very nice evening.

My number one rule when it comes to entertaining is making a meal that you can do most of in advance of your guests arriving, so when they do arrive you can actually entertain. So roasts are a great way to accomplish this. But since it is so freaking hot outside, I didn't want to make something too heavy or rich like say a pot roast.

This pork loin was perfect because pork is a lighter meat in the first place, but this vinaigrette isn't a hot or heavy sauce. It can be made in advance and served at room temperature. I served this with roasted red potatoes and a nice mixed green salad. I finished the meal with a nice seasonal peach crisp and vanilla ice cream.

What you'll need:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 tsp. chopped, fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt and pepper each
1 pork loin roast, (3 lbs) trimmed of fat and silverskin
1 and 1/2 pound red potatoes, quartered (figure 2-3 per person, depending on the size, and if they are really big, you might want to cut them in sixths instead of quarters)

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and coat a roasting pan with nonstick spray.

Combine the oil, garlic, rosemary and salt and pepper in a large bowl, set aside.

Trim pork of excess fat and silverskin, then tie with kitchen twine in three places, both ends and one in the middle, so that it keeps its round shape and stays nice and tight.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Using tongs, toss the pork in the oil mixture, coating all sides. Then sear on all sides in the skillet. See the picture below.

Once seared, transfer the pork to the roasting pan. Toss the potatoes in the remaining oil mixture. Add the potatoes to the roasting pan, surrounding the pork roast. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Turn the pork and the potatoes and roast for another 25-30 minutes, or until the pork reaches 150 degrees. Remove from the oven and tent loosely with foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice into 1/2-inch thick slices and serve with the vinaigrette, recipe follows.

What you'll need for the vinaigrette:
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup shallots, chopped
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. garlic
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. capers, drained
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper each
3/4 cup olive oil

Pulse all ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor until tomatoes are minced. Slowly add the oil, blending to combine.

Serves 6-8. Sorry I don't have a picture of the finished product.

This recipe has been adapted from an issue of Cuisine at Home.

Here are some pics of the delicious peach crisp:

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