Pork Tenderloin with Pesto Sauce & Crustless Pea Quiche (serves 6)

I am still in “refusal mode” about going to the supermarket since I got back from our vacation/holiday, and so last night I was challenged to come up with something (yet again!) from the dregs in my pantry and fridge. My husband said he would go to the supermarket to pick up some greens, but I was adamant about not buying some lack lustre vegetables that had been flown in from god knows where, when I was getting my weekly box of vegetables from Good Work Farm (my CSA) the next day (look at the top right hand column of my blog for more info. on what that means).

Thyme & Basil freshly snipped from my garden

With the help of my herb garden, some frozen baby peas, and an onion, I was determined to make something fabulous!

Last Night’s Offering, (wood-fired plate by Shawn Ireland)

I quickly defrosted a pork tenderloin and made two completely different dishes which had 1 ingredient in common to tie them together; Basil! I had made tons of pesto a few weeks earlier and froze them in ice-cube trays, so, I decided to pop a couple of them into the liquid I quick-fried the pork in. I didn’t want to make something heavy like pasta to go with it, so I baked the peas with eggs and fresh basil leaves. I was so happy with the results, and was also glad I was forced into making something new and fresh.

I don’t know how I could have pulled it off if not for the lovely fresh herb garden at my disposal. I’m glad I get my box of veggies today or it would be frozen peas again tonight!

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Crustless Quiche Recipe

(This little Quiche is also great warmed up and served for breakfast!)

You will Need: 1 sweet onion, diced, 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 2 cups baby peas (I used frozen), 12 basil leaves, leaves, 3 thyme sprigs, 2 slices of white bread, 2/3 cups milk (any %), 4 fresh eggs, 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated, (optional), 1 tsp sea salt, freshly ground black pepper. Butter for baking tin.

Preheat oven 325*

*While you are prepping ingredients put frozen peas into sa bowl and leave on your counter.

1 – Break bread into a small bowl and cover with milk. Make sure to press the bread down so as it get throughly soaked. Set aside.

2 – Put saute pan on low/medium heat and add oil. When it warms up, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, until soft. Add thyme leaves and stir.

Saute onions, add thyme leaves

3 – Add peas to pan and turn heat up to medium. Cook until peas get soft, about 7 or so minutes. Turn off heat and set aside until ready to use.

Add peas

4 – Crack eggs into a big bowl and whisk with a fork, adding the salt and several grinds of black pepper. Stir in the bread and milk, following by the pea mixture, whole basil leaves, and cheese (if using).

add onions and herbs to egg mixture

6 – Butter an 8 or 9″ cake pan and pour the mixture into it. Place in oven for 30 minutes.

Quiche baked!

When you take it out, let it sit for 5 minutes (the egg will pull away from the sides of the pan). Run a spatula, or egg flip around the edges and underneath, and remove the entire Quiche to a plate. Cut into six pieces.

Pork Tenderloin with Pesto Sauce Recipe

Pork ready!

You will Need: 1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin (it can be a little below this weight; that’s just what mine weighed), thinly sliced, 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tbs unsalted butter, 2 tbs fresh pesto (my recipe for pesto is in another post; just type pesto in the search box in the column to the right of my blog, OR in a pinch you can use a good quality jarred pesto from the supermarket), 2/3 cups water, 1/2 cup heavy cream, sea salt and pepper to taste.

1 – Put big saute pan on high heat and add 2 tbs of the oil and 1/2 of the butter. When it get nice and hot, add the pork in a single layer (you will have to do this in 2 or more batches, depending on the size of your pan). Fry on each side for 2 minutes, or until getting brown. Remove to a plate. You will need to add more oil and butter as you proceed.

saute Pork tenderloin slices in butter and oil

2 – Turn heat down to low and wait 1 minute before adding the water. The water will pull up all the pork bits from the bottom of the pan. When the water is simmering, add the pesto and cream and stir everything together until you have a thick green sauce. Taste for salt and pepper (I found the pork did not need seasoning or the sauce needed no adjusting because of the flavors of the pesto)

make pesto sauce

3 – Transfer the pork to the sauce, and cover to cook gently for about 3 minutes. Turn off pan.

Pork Tenderloin with Pesto Sauce and Crustless Pea Quiche

Serve the pork and Quiche side by side. You could also serve the pork with a pasta and forego the Quiche, or just make the Quiche and serve on a bed of greens. So many options!

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