Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard & Tarragon and Sauteed Kale

I was inspired to make this pork tenderloin when a girlfriend told me about how her French mother prepares pork roast by stuffing it with garlic and ginger and covering the roast with tarragon-infused dijon. For this weeknight meal, I chose a tenderloin which is leaner and cooks much more quickly than a whole roast.

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard
3 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp dried ginger or 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
2 garlic cloves minced
3/4 - 1 lb pork tenderloin
Salt & pepper

Place tenderloin in a baking dish. Sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper. Combine first five ingredients in a bowl. Using the back of a spoon, spread the mustard mixture over all surfaces of the tenderloin. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Preheat a grill to high. Cook tenderloin, attempting to grill on all four "sides", approximately 6 or 7 minutes per side, until cooked through. Center may be slightly pink. Place on a cutting board or platter, cover with foil and let sit while you prepare the kale (recipe follows). Slice tenderloin into approximately 1/4"-thick slices. Serve with extra dijon for dipping, if desired.

Sauteed Kale
1 bunch kale
2 cloves garlic, minced
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Wash and dry the kale. Separate the kale from the center rib. [There are two techniques I use to do this depending on the type of kale. For curly kale with small leaves, I hold the stem in one hand, wrap my hand over the leaves with the other and strip the leaves off of the stem. Technique shown in top picture. For plain leaved kale, which is usually larger, I bend the leaf in half (so the "bottom" is on the outside) and while holding onto the leaf with one hand, I rip away the stem with the other hand. Technique shown in picture on bottom.] Once the leaves are removed, chiffonade the kale using the same technique I described for chopping basil.

Cover the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and heat on medium. Add the garlic and cook approximately 1 minute, stirring to avoid burning. Add the kale and toss, making sure to incorporate the garlic so it doesn't sit on the bottom of the pan and burn. Season with salt and pepper and saute until tender, approximately 10 minutes.

For a slightly more interesting side dish try one or a combination of the following:
  • Add 1 Tbsp slivered almonds before the garlic and cook for two minutes.
  • Add 1/4 Cup of diced onion before the garlic and saute until golden.
  • Drizzle toasted sesame oil and/or soy sauce over cooked leaves before serving.
  • Add several dashes of red pepper flakes along with the salt and pepper.


  1. Jen,
    Sometime try roasted Kale it is really good and crunchy

  2. That's a great idea. I will try that.