I’m thrilled to share this dish with you today. It’s just as much about the pork as it’s about the sauce.
This juicy pork tenderloin is marinated in a combination of cilantro, jalapeño and lime, which complements the sauce perfectly. I like to sear the pork in a pan before roasting it in the oven to create a flavorful, crispy exterior, similar to what you get by grilling the meat.
Red bell peppers, tomato, garlic and almonds are some of the key ingredients in my romesco sauce. This smokey, slightly sweet and acidic sauce pairs wonderfully with pork.
I like to top off this dish with a cilantro-lime gremolata for freshness and to echo some of the flavors in the marinade.
This juicy pork tenderloin is marinated in a combination of cilantro, jalapeño and lime. The romesco sauce compliments the pork perfectly, and a cilantro-lime gremolata adds a bright, herbaceous bite.
- 1 pork tenderloin (about 1.5lbs)
- ½ cup cilantro leaves and tender stems (loosely packed)
- 1 jalapeño, chopped (remove seeds, if desired)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil (plus more for cooking)
- 1 tbsp light agave nectar or honey
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt (plus more for cooking)
- ½ tsp fresh cracked pepper (plus more for cooking)
- ½ cup Italian or French bread, crusted removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
- ½ cup almonds
- 2 medium red bell peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds and stems removed
- 1 medium plum tomato, sliced in half lengthwise, stem removed
- 2–3 cloves garlic, in skin
- 2–3 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar (I used 3T)
- ½ tsp light agave nectar or honey
- 2 tsp sweet, smoked paprika
- 2 pinches cayenne pepper, or to taste
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- Marinate pork: Combine cilantro through pepper in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Add pork and marinade to a large ziplock bag, and marinate at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
- Toast bread & almonds: While pork is marinating, prepare the sauce. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange bread cubes and almonds on a baking sheet. Toast in the center of the oven for 5-8 minutes, or until almonds are fragrant and bread is dried out and golden, stirring half way through. Set aside.
- Broil vegetables: Preheat the broiler. Arrange peppers (cut side down), tomato (cut side up) and garlic on a baking sheet. Broil 2-3 minutes, flip garlic, and broil another 2-3 minutes or until softened and garlic skin is lightly browned. Set garlic aside. Rotate pan, and continue to broil tomato for 4-6 minutes or until softened and charred. Set aside. Broil peppers an additional 2-3 minutes or until all skin is well-charred.
- Peel & chop vegetables: Transfer peppers to a brown bag, seal and allow to steam for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, peel garlic, and peel and chop the tomato. Peel and chop peppers. Discard skins. Using a food processor, finely grind bread and almonds.
- Blend sauce: Add peppers, tomato, garlic, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, agave and spices. Blend until smooth. Stream in olive oil while blending, until incorporated. Taste and season with additional vinegar, salt and/or pepper, if desired. Refrigerate sauce until ready to use.
- Prep: Remove pork from fridge and allow to come to room temperate for 30-60 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Sear pork: Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large, oven-proof sauté pan over medium-high heat. Remove pork from marinade, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Sear pork for 2-3 minutes on the first side, or until well-browned, flip and sear another 1-2 minutes. Transfer pan to the center of the oven. Roast 8-12 minutes; or until the thickest part of the meat registers 135-140°F or desired level of doneness. Rest 10-15 minutes.
- Make gremolata & serve: While pork rests, mix all gremolata ingredients together in a small bowl. When ready to serve, slice pork into ½ inch thick slices. Serve with sauce and top with gremolata. Enjoy.
Total time does not reflect time needed to marinate pork.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Main
- Method: Sear, Roast
- Cuisine: Spanish, New American
- Serving Size: 6oz pork & ⅔ cup sauce
- Calories: 566
- Sugar: 8g
- Sodium: 1008mg
- Fat: 33g
- Saturated Fat: 6g
- Carbohydrates: 27g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 41g
Keywords: pork tenderloin, pork, romesco sauce