Thursday, May 9, 2013

Herb-Marinated Pork Tenderloin with a Greek Panzanella Salad from the Barefoot Contessa

This is one of the best two recipes to serve together and even though the list of ingredients is long, don’t be scared. It’s easy and a lot of it is done in advance. The pork marinates overnight in the refrigerator and then grilled. The panzanella salad needs to sit for thirty minutes for the flavors to come together, so you can see this isn’t as intimidating as the list of ingredients would have you believe.

For those of you who love to grill, this would make a very nice Mother’s Day meal. If you are looking for something easy to serve at your next dinner party where the guys can gather around the grill while the ladies visit, this is for you. And because most of the cooking is done outside with the exception of the croutons, and the salad is tossed in one big bowl, there’s not that much to clean up afterwards.

Making the croutons on top of the stove as opposed to browning the bread cubes in the oven is a breeze and a method you’ll want to keep for making croutons for other dishes in the future. No more pulling a sheet pan out of a hot oven and struggling with turning the cubes. In this method the bread cubes brown beautifully on top of the stove if you keep an eye on them and toss or stir occasionally. Don’t omit salting the bread cubes while they cook. An amazing amount of flavor comes from this one step.

These two recipes are real keepers.

Herb-Marinated Pork Tenderloins
Adapted slightly from Barefoot Contessa’s Back to Basics - serves 6 

1 lemon, zest grated
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 6 lemons)
Good olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
3 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
Freshly ground black pepper
Thyme leaves and rosemary flowers for garnish (my rosemary bush was flowering)

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 teaspoons salt in a sturdy 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.

Either grill the pork tenderloin on the grill - or preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat. Sprinkle the tenderloins generously with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large oven-proof sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork tenderloins on all sides until golden brown. Place the sauté pan in the oven and roast the tenderloins for 10 to 15 minutes or until the meat registers 137 degrees F at the thickest part. Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve in 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. The thickest part of the tenderloin will be quite pink (it's just fine!) and the thinnest part will be well done. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm, or at room temperature with the juices that collect in the platter. Garnish with rosemary flowers and fresh thyme leaves if desired. Excellent served with a Panzanella salad.

Greek Panzanella Salad
Adapted slightly from How Easy is That by Ina Garten – serves 6

Good olive oil
1 small French baguette or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
Kosher salt
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, large diced
1 yellow bell pepper, large diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, sliced in half rounds
1/2 pound feta cheese, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted


2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bread cubes and sprinkle with salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until nicely browned. Add more olive oil as needed. Set aside when browned.

Place the cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl.

For the vinaigrette, in a jar with a tight fitting lid add all of the ingredients, cover well, and shake to combine and make an emulsion. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Add the feta, olives and bread cubes and mix together lightly. Set aside for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.

This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, Foodtastic Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Seasonal Sunday at the Tablescaper, and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable. 

Have a great weekend everyone.
Happy Mother’s Day.


  1. Both dishes look gorgeous and I am sure taste even better than they look Sam.

  2. Aren't you lucky your rosemary bush was blooming!!
    What a plating..just lovely..
    I love how we can add flowers to dishes and all of a sudden..SPECIAL.
    Pork is so affordable and adorable:)
    Bon Weekend to you too..two..:)

  3. That pork is cooked to perfection! A magnificently summery dish. Yummy.



  4. An Ina Garten recipe is a guarantee of deliciousness. Both of these dishes look beautiful, and very nicely plated. We love pork tenderloin, and the salad is a perfect pairing.

  5. The pork sounds great, but it is that salad that is calling my name!

  6. They both sound delicious! And I loved to see that your pork is medium and not well done. Perfection!

  7. Looks delicious Sam and, of course, perfectly cooked. Bev has mentioned pork tenderloins several times lately and since we now have fresh herbs, I believe I'll go get one out of the freezer and try this. And as good as the meat looks, the salad looks and sounds even better - I can almost taste all of those fine Greek flavors.

  8. Definitely looks like two winning recipes!

  9. This looks sophisticated and very delicious! That bread salad looks particularly good!

    I have subscribed your recipe via bloglovin and email.

  10. I adore Panzenella salad! Looks good, as always ~ Paula

  11. This sounds like such a great meal Sam, I'm determined to use my grill more this year! Funny, my rosemary is in bloom too and the boys just asked me if we could do anything with the flowers:@)

  12. The pork is done to perfection, Sam! These two recipes do sound like they would be delicious together. Can't wait to try the croutons on the stove also.

  13. I've made that salad before...and with the pork it would be amazing. Have to try this. Thank you!!!

  14. Looks fantastic, a wonderful summer meal!

  15. I've never been disappointed with an Ina recipe! What a delicious combination of two of them. The salad "screams" summer--me too!


  16. Wonderful recipe~ Love Pork Tenderloin~ Have never been disappointed a with Pork Tenderloin recipe~Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

  17. What a great meal! the pork looks perfectly cooked - just with a hint of pink - just how I like it!
    Mary x

  18. Oh..I've made that salad, Sam. Isn't it delicious? Have not made the pork tenderloin though. My son is taking me out to dinner this year, so no cooking for me.

  19. Good Morning Sam,
    I hope you are having a beautiful morning up on your mountain.

    What a beautiful presentation for your delicious Mothers Day Meal. I would feel very special to sit down to such a delicious meal.

    Thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a very special Mothers Day Weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  20. Hi Sam,

    Thank you for stopping by this morning. I've been crazy busy at work lately and haven't had much time to go blog hopping to leave comments! I'm looking forward to the last day of school so I can do some serious blogging! LOL!!!

    First, this meal looks like it should be on the cover of Bon Appetit Magazine!!! Wow! I can't believe how beautiful the Rosemary flowers look either. Since pork is a favorite of ours, I will certainly give this a try.

    I have had Ina's salad, it is amazing. My best friend Susan, at "From Beyond My Kitchen Window" made it with grilled shrimp and brought it to our cottage in Maine, so I know how delicious it is!

    Thank you for putting this lovely meal together and sharing it with us! Have a lovely Mom's Day weekend!!!


  21. Great looking recipe and I love pork tenderloin it is always unexpected and everyone loves it... truly easy because you can do so much in advance. Thanks for sharing it with on Foodie Friday Sam.

  22. I noticed your alert at the top of this post. I've switched everything over to Feedily and am loving it. Great looking recipe and photos Sam ... as always. I buy tenderloins when they're on sale, so always seem to have one in the freezer. Always looking for new recipes.

  23. Sounds delicious, Sam. We love pork tenderloin. And, it is hard to beat panzanella salad.

  24. Oh My these two dishes look fabulous....I just made Ina's "Easy PArmesan Risotto" that is cooked in the oven in a Dutch oven...that was really wonderful and I served it with a pork tenderloin that was marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil then rolled in brown sugar and sesame seeds...She sure has some great recipes and I will for sure have to try these two...thank you for posting them....Ina is coming to Marietta Ga. in October to our huge performance center and I can't wait...I snagged front row seats....I Hope you have a wonderful Mothers Day and thanks again for posting these recipes! Sue in Atlanta.

  25. What a perfect pairing! Do you have people standing outside your kitchen trying to get an invitation to dinner?

  26. this looks wonderful love the salad, hope your keeping well hugs

  27. Amazing pics! So delicious:)

    Win a pair of sunglasses:

  28. Your pork looks absolutely luscious, and I love the idea of making croutons on the stove top! I'll be heading down for dinner ....

  29. Oh, Sam! Another incredible meal! I will never forget having pork tenderloin for the first time. The mother of my good friend, Danny, made it when I visited them after they moved to Houston. And boy! Was it ever divine, and this looks like it could easily rival Mrs. C's. Having pork tenderloin for the first time was the equivalent of having your eyes roll back into your head from being bowled over. :-)

    And that salad! The perfect companion to the pork. Wish I had some right now!



  30. These recipes sound delicious! I'm a mom who has always enjoyed cooking, and our son grew up always wanting to help. Now he is an Executive Chef! For Mother's Day, he and his family came to our home, and we cooked together. He prepared a pork roast that cooked on the grill while we made zucchini/veggie cakes and salad. It was all very delicious and we had such a great time together.

  31. Beautiful presentation. Pork tenderloin is a favorite company meal in our house. So is the Panzanella Salad. We usually have a version of this over the Labor Day weekend when a family member brings her heirloom tomatoes from the garden. You always have winners Sam.

  32. What a delicious meal! So summery and delish! I am so ready for fresh garden veggies...and a nice panzanella will be perfect. And I always have pork tenderloin in the freezer. Thanks for the inspiration, Sam!

  33. This looks delicious!! And the salad seems like the perfect thing to compliment this meal ;)

  34. You need to be traveling to Italy with me...
    This looks authentic!

  35. Sam, sounds and looks perfect to me! Both Bill and I are up for a great pork tenderloin any day!

  36. this pork tenderloin with the bread salad beautiful pairing. Very delicious.


  37. What a beautiful and tasty meal the simplicity of the pork tenderloin and the Greek Panzanella salad is just perfect...creamy cheese and crunchy bread cubes.
    Hope you are having a lovely week :)

  38. the salad looks divine. perfect side to that amazingly cooked and marinated pork.

  39. Hey, Sam -- I made this tenderloin last night for company and we all agreed that it was the BEST, bar none, pork we'd ever tasted. Incredibly moist and fork tender. I wanted to make the salad but one of my guests is gluten intolerant so I went with new potatoes and asparagus from the garden...

  40. Oh yeah, that pork is perfectly pink! Expertly done in my opinion. I agree with you on the pan cooked croutons, I prefer them and think they are crispier.


Thank you for stopping by.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.