pesto-rubbed pork tenderloin

Pork tenderloin is one of the most versatile meats around.  I probably serve it once a week; grilled, roasted, pan seared in a variety of rubs or marinades.  It’s one of a handful of meats which instantly pleases my picky eater’s palate, and I don’t have to resort to finger-drumming on the kitchen table waiting for her to finish.  Teriyaki is a favorite around these parts, but this one scored pretty high with The Mister.  The homemade pesto is spectacular (I add lots of extra garlic), and the tenderloin takes up the flavor beautifully.  The original recipe called for a 3 to 4 pound top loin roast which would be great if you’re feeding a crowd.  But with just the three of us, I don’t necessarily want all that left over.  The original pesto recipe was based on a larger roast, so I cut it in half for a 1 1/2 pound tenderloin.  Enjoy!

Pesto-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin


  • 1 1/2  lb pork tenderloin
  • 1/4 c pine nuts
  • 4 or 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 c fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 c mixed fresh herbs or your choice (mint, basil, dill, oregano and/or thyme)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesean cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil (to your desired consistency)


In processor combine pine nuts, garlic, parsley, herbs, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.  Pulse a few times to chop and combine.  With processor running, slowly pour oil through opening.  Process until well blended.  Coat pork with about 1/4 cup pesto.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  Grill tenderloin to desired temperature, about 145°F, and remove from grill.  Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  Slice pork.  Serve with grilled fruit and/or side salad.  Pass remaining mixed-herb pesto for use at the table.

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