Roasted Pork Loin with Late Summer Vegetables

“Life itself is the proper binge.” --Julia Child

If you're looking for a quick and easy-but-company-worthy meal, then I say, grab a pork loin and be done with it.  (In less than an hour, too, since you only need about 30 minutes per pound in the oven.)  

I think of a pork loin as a blank canvas:
  • You can brown it on the stove, wrap it in bacon and pop it in the slow cooker with some apple butter, sliced apples, figs, cider, maple syrup, garlic/onions and spices and end up with a really nice shredded pork dish.   
  • You can make a sweet/spicy/vinegary bbq sauce and slow cook it until you have the perfect filling for  pulled pork sandwiches.
  • You can roast it in the oven with all sorts of vegetables/fruits -- just make sure they are coated in olive oil/butter and add a bit of liquid if it seems dry during the roasting so they don't burn.
  • You can add dried fruits and herbs and make a rub with nutmeg, garlic and cloves, and roast to perfection, for a great holiday meal.
  • You can add a favorite grill rub, wrap it in aluminum foil and flame-broil it to perfection.
  • You get the idea.

Roasted Pork Loin with Late Summer Vegetables i.e. the Veggie Drawer

I had a small pork loin (about 1 lb) in my freezer, so I popped it in the fridge to thaw in the morning, and by evening, it was ready to go.  

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees  and drizzled some olive oil in a roasting pan and then added the thawed pork loin (which I covered in a mix of herbs, a wee bit of bbq sauce, butter, and garlic powder).  Then, I basically tossed my whole vegetable drawer in some olive oil, salt and pepper before adding to the pan as well:  I threw in some onions and celery (making sure the pieces were big enough I could fish them out before serving to you-know-who), some baby carrots (split lengthwise), some roughly chopped bok choy (make sure you coat the leaves with oil), and some radishes, halved (don't forget, roasted radishes are quite tasty). They were all in my latest organic box delivery, so I put them to good use!

I roasted them for about 15 minutes, then added about 1/3 cup of leftover mango salsa and since I wanted a bit of a sauce, I added some chicken stock (you could use water, too).  I put it back in the oven for about 20 more minutes, until the veggies were roasted and the meat was cooked through.   

The salsa added a bit of spice and fruit to the dish, but didn't overpower it, and it cooked down nicely and added to the meat's juices. I sliced the meat, then transferred it and the veggies to a serving dish to rest (tented with aluminum foil). Then, I quickly strained the pan juices and reduced them a bit by bringing to a slow boil, before seasoning with salt/pepper. To finish, I arranged the food on a plate and then lightly spooned the sauce over it. 

Done!  Served with buttered brown rice, mashed potatoes, or a green salad and crusty bread, this is a pretty easy, delicious meal.  Try your own version soon, using whatever you have at home. You won't be disappointed.