Ingredients:

  • 1 1.5 lb. Pork tenderloin (we bought one that was pre-marinated in herbs and spices)
  • 1 Cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 Cups chicken stock
  • 2 Cups of pea shoots (can substitute regular peas)
  • 3 Tb. Freshly chopped basil
  • 2 oz. Goat cheese
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 3 Tb. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooking the Pork Tenderloin:

We took a short cut here to help save time. We bought pork tenderloin that was already pre-marinated in herbs and spices. However, if you want to save a few bucks and buy regular pork tenderloin, you can just heavily season the outside of the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet, over high heat put 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the pan to get nice and hot. Once the oil is hot, place the pork tenderloin into the pan. Allow for the meat to sear for 2 minutes on each side or until the pork is golden brown. You will rotate the pork 3-4 times on each side until all sides are seared and golden brown.

Once the meat is browned, you will remove it from the skillet and place it on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil (this will make cleanup a breeze!) and place the pork in the oven for 15-18 minutes (or until the pork reaches 145 degrees internally, using a meat thermometer).

Once you pull the pork out of the oven, place it on a cutting board, and place some aluminum foil over the pork and allow for it rest for another 5 minutes. This will allow for the juices to redistribute so you don’t loose any of the flavor or juice when you cut into the meat.

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While the pork is cooking in the oven, you can cook the quinoa.

Making the Quinoa Salad:

Make sure you rinse your quinoa, in a fine mesh strainer, before you put it into a pot. This will remove any grit that may have gotten in with the grain. Place the washed quinoa into a saucepan with the 2 cups of chicken stock. Bring the quinoa to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 18-20 minutes until the chicken stock is absorbed.

While the pork and the quinoa are doing their thing, you can chop and prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salad.

You can chop the pea shoots into smaller pieces, if you would like to make them more bite size.

****If you are using peas, you will want to blanch them in boiling water for about 3 minutes and then rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process.

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Toss the pea shoots (or peas) into a large bowl. Chop the basil leaves into small pieces and add them to the bowl. Crumble the goat cheese, and zest 1 lemon right into the bowl. Be sure to only zest the yellow part of the lemon. The white part (or pith) is bitter.

How to make the dressing for the salad:

Cut the lemon in half and juice it into a small mixing bowl. Whisking vigorously, slowly add in the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. This process will emulsify (blend) the lemon and the olive oil together. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper and whisk once more to combine.

Once the quinoa is cooked, you can add the dressing to the hot quinoa. This will allow for the quinoa to absorb the delicious flavor of the dressing, while it is hot.

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Spread the quinoa on another cookie sheet in a thin layer for the last 5 minutes while the pork is resting. This will allow the quinoa to cool down quickly, so it doesn’t wilt the pea shoots or melt the goat cheese too much.

Bringing it all together:

Take the cooled quinoa and toss it into the large mixing bowl with all of the other ingredients. Give it a good mix and double check for seasoning of salt and pepper before serving.

As for the pork, cut it into 1/2-inch slices and serve with a heaping spoonful(s) of the quinoa salad.