mediterranean-style stuffed pork tenderloin

Let me start by saying I’m particularly challenged when it comes to stuffing food with other food: tortillas, burritos, lettuce wraps and, apparently, pork tenderloin.  While I’m incredibly diligent about portion sizes when I’m eating, I seem to lose all sense of proportion during preparation.  So, while it was clear to  me I had more than enough stuffing to fill my tenderloin adequately, I used all of it.  Every last morsel.  I hate to waste, you know, and if I didn’t use it I’d probably have just sloughed it  into the trash.  Senseless, I think.  Because when push comes to shove, I’ll just make it fit (as you’ll see in the photos below).  Hey, this isn’t a professional photo shoot, here.  I make it, I shoot it, we eat it.  I don’t have time to “style” my food.

Ignoring the obvious over-stuffing, this recipe is fantastic. super healthy, and brimming with an incredible array of flavors.  Since pork is a super lean meat, the dish comes by that flavor via lots of other good-for-you ingredients.  The red pepper, capers, pine nuts, and feta cheese play off each other perfectly and give the meal a truly Mediterranean flair.  It’s heart-healthy, low-fat, and high in protein.  I served it with a mixed grain rice and a small salad since the stuffing is full of veggies, anyway.  We love it.  Hope you try it and enjoy!

Mediterranean-style Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, butterflied and pounded flat
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 oz spinach
  • 1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp capers, depending on preference (you can also use pitted Kalamata olives)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c low-fat Feta cheese, crumbled
  • kitchen twine
Preparation:
Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add finely chopped red pepper and saute for several minutes.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant.  Be careful not to scorch the garlic.  Add spinach, cooking until wilted, then remove from heat.
Butterfly the pork tenderloin (cut vertically down the middle but not entirely through the pork), and use meat hammer to flatten, being careful not to break through the pork. Place hammered pork over three or four long strands of kitchen twine.  Add the spinach and red pepper mixture, spreading across the flattened meat.  Next, add nuts, capers, and Feta cheese.  Gently roll the pork together and secure with the kitchen twine.
2012-11-02
Rub the pork with olive oil and bake at 375° F for about 40-60 minutes (depending on the size of the pork roll).  I usually check with a meat thermometer and pull the meat from the oven when internal temp reaches 140.  Let rest for 5 minutes, slice, and serve.
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