The ingredients in Fennel-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Escarole and Apple Salad suggest a Autumnal meal as opposed to early Summer. But the garlicky pork pairs perfectly with a crisp salad in this easy supper and it won’t keep you bound in the kitchen around a hot stove for long. Plus you can have it on the table in less than a half hour.
Often the grocery store carries fennel bulbs without much frond to them. If at all possible, try to buy them with a lot of feathery greenery at the top because you’ll need them to make the rub, plus any leftover is nice for garnish.
This recipe calls for two pork tenderloins, but we only had one in the freezer and figured it would be enough for the two of us—we surprisingly even had some leftover!
NOTE: If your grocery store doesn’t carry Pink Lady apples, look for another variety that is both sweet and tart with a crisp texture, such as Honey Crisp, Jonagold, Cameo or Mutsu.
Fennel-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Escarole and Apple Salad
- 6 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbs. cider vinegar
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt
- 1 small head fennel, fronds and tender stems finely chopped together, bulb cored and very thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small pork tenderloins (1-3/4 to 2 lb. total)
- 1 head escarole (about 12 oz.), leaves torn into small pieces
- 1 Pink Lady or other sweet-tart red apple, thinly sliced
- Position an oven rack 6 inches below the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- In a small bowl (or a mini processor), whisk 6 Tbs. of the oil, the vinegar, shallot, 1/2 tsp. of the mustard, and 1/4 tsp. salt; set aside.
- In another small bowl, combine the fennel fronds and stems, the remaining 2 tsp. oil and 1/2 tsp. mustard, the garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
- Rub the pork all over with the fennel mixture. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and broil, flipping once, until just cooked through (145°F), about 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the fennel bulb, escarole, apple, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper with half of the dressing.
- Slice the pork and drizzle with any juice. Serve with the salad, passing the remaining dressing at the table.