Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Pineapple Salsa and Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
This is one of our very favorite meals and we just had it the other day. It is the perfect summer dish with the spicy notes of the jalapeno peppers, the bite of the raw red onion, and the sweetness of the sunny grilled pineapple. Pork tenderloin is the perfect vehicle for the grilled pineapple salsa with its light flavor and texture. To compliment the main part of the dish I serve this with sweet potatoes that are grilled and have that touch of sweetness and drizzle those with a bit of a cilantro-lime vinaigrette to balance out the sweet.
I found the original recipe for the pork and salsa several years ago in Cooking Light magazine and have adapted it a bit over the years. If you are not used to doing a lot of chopping this recipe may seem like a lot of work to you, but I promise you it is so worth your time. Your family will be amazed! This is also something you can easily prepare much of it ahead of time. A perfect meal to end a hot summer day eating out on your patio with some crisp white wine. And as a bonus, the extra salsa is great for a snack later that evening with some tortilla chips!
Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
- 2lb pork tenderloin (Approx. I use both pieces that are generally in a package of pork tenderloin)
- 1/2 cup lime juice (I use the bottled stuff - it's cheaper)
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning mix (This usually has oregano, basil, etc. in it)
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 can sliced pineapple in natural juices (You can totally use fresh pineapple if you like also, but I find the canned works really well and is easier)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 2 large jalapeno peppers
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
- 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
- 3 tablespoons lime juice (Again, I used the bottled lime juice)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (Try to keep most of the stems out)
This is my adaptation of the pork tenderloin and grilled pineapple salsa recipes as originally seen in Cooking Light magazine.
|Start be marinating the pork tenderloin. Remove any excess silver skin or fat from the tenderloins if needed. Place in a dish or food bag and add the lime juice, pepper, Italian seasoning, cumin, salt, and garlic. Massage it around a bit and then refrigerate at least 2 hours. Note that the pork may "cook" a bit with the lime juice and get a white appearance, this is perfectly fine. |
Lightly spray the red and yellow peppers and jalapenos with cooking spray and grill. You want to get the nice char marks all over the outside - this will give a nice smokey flavor to these vegetables. You could skip this step in a pinch, but it really does add depth to the finished salsa. Once grilled, cool. Then remove the stems and seeds from all and chop finely. Place in a large bowl. Now add the rest of the ingredients. Toss well to combine. Refrigerate at least two hours for the flavors to blend.
Grill the marinated pork tenderloin (discard the marinade) over a medium fire for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 143° F. Remove and let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the grilled pineapple salsa and the next recipe for Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup lime juice (Use fresh or bottled (I use bottled))
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 3/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
|Scrub the sweet potatoes and put in large pot covered with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook about 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Drain and cool completely. Remove the skin from the potatoes. At this point you can put them in the refrigerator if you like and finish later. When ready to grill. Slice each sweet potato into quarters, lengthwise. Grill over medium heat to warm through and get nice grill marks on all sides. |
Combine all other ingredients in a small food processor until well blended. If you are preparing by hand, chop the cilantro fine and mix with all ingredients except olive oil. Then slowly whisk in olive oil until blended. Drizzle over the warm sweet potato quarters to serve.
© 2013, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.