Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
13 Mar

Mediterranean Stuffed Pork Loin

Regardless of any opinions we might have about the Mediterranean Diet, this stuffed pork loin with a Mediterranean flair is right up our alley. The recipe for Mediterranean stuffing, made from red peppers, spinach, olives, garlic, nuts and an optional sprinkle of feta cheese (we couldn’t resist throwing some in), was sent in by Jade Kendall for the Primal Cookbook Challenge.

A pork loin is a fine cut of meat, tender and easy to cook, but because it’s the leanest cut of pork it also tends to be the least flavorful. This is where Jade steps in with a perfect solution: stuffing. Breadcrumbs are nowhere to be found in his rich and flavorful filling that evokes the best of Mediterranean cooking. His ingredients add fat (nuts), flavor (garlic) and smart fuel (spinach).

Red pepper is no slouch in the nutrient department either, and adds bright color that matches the bright, bold flavor the stuffing brings to the pork. Jade suggested the addition of feta cheese and we suggest adding Kalamata olives. Either will give the stuffing a briny burst of acidity that heightens all the other flavors.

The hardest part about this recipe is holding back and not putting too much stuffing inside the loin. If you do, you won’t be able to roll the meat up completely. If you’re worried about over-stuffing, your best defense is pounding the loin as thin as possible so it rolls easily and if needed, secure the meat with some toothpicks or kitchen twine while it cooks.

Ingredients:


  • 1-2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 6 oz spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (any kind that sounds good)
  • Pitted kalamata olives
  • Olive oil or butter for sautéing
  • Optional: 1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Instructions:

Drizzle some olive oil or butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add red peppers and garlic to the pan. After a few minutes add the spinach and cook until it wilts. Remove from heat.

Butterfly cut the pork tenderloin (cut vertically down the middle until almost through, but not quite through the pork).

Place saran-rap over the butterflied pork and pound it as flat as you can without breaking through the pork (use a meat tenderizing hammer for best results).

Once the pork is thin then add the ingredients from the pan on top of the pork, spreading it all over. Add the nuts, and optional feta cheese and olives.

Gently roll the pork into a tube/roll. If you are using a smaller pork loin, or were not able to pound it very thinly, you may just be folding the loin over rather than rolling it. In this case, securing the loin with toothpicks or kitchen twine will be necessary.

Drizzle the pork with olive oil and butter and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40-60 minutes (depending on the size of the pork roll).

When the pork is cooked to your liking, let it cool slightly and then slice.


You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. looks delicious 😀

    SM wrote on March 13th, 2010
  2. i was wondering what to cook for dinner tonight. now i know 😀

    batty wrote on March 13th, 2010
  3. Well, the peppers were awesome last week. So why not this? I’m going to make this next week with pecans as my nut of choice. Yum!

    Sterling wrote on March 13th, 2010
  4. This looks so satisfying. I shall make this next week :)

    Todd wrote on March 13th, 2010
  5. My family eats pork loin a lot. In fact, we prefer it over pork chops. To add flavor, we use original shake and bake, but that’s probably not the best option for adding flavor when you want to cook healthy. That said, I’m thankful for this recipe, because now I have another way to prepare pork loin — a healthier way!

    Misti wrote on March 13th, 2010
  6. would it be at all possible to make this without an oven? my apartment doesn’t have one :(

    Chaohinon wrote on March 13th, 2010
    • I have cooked pork loin in a crock pot before.

      Melissa wrote on March 14th, 2010
    • Do you have a nice heavy bottom pan or pot? Anything will work, but a heavy bottom pot will allow you to cook slowly without the fear of burning. So, you would slice the stuffed loin in 1-2 in slices, add broth to the pan, cover to steam and cook the loin through 15 min or so, then uncover to maybe add color to each side. You can add a little olive oil because the pork doesn’t have much fat, but that’s up to you. Hope this helps.

      Lonna wrote on March 18th, 2010
  7. This one definitely looks great. I like pork :)

    So Natural wrote on March 14th, 2010
  8. Made this one tonight — turned out amazing! 45 minutes was perfect in my German oven; we chose walnuts for the nuts.
    I think if you had to, you could probably do it on the stove top, just be careful to cook it all the way. you might have trouble with your stuffing falling out too…Just a thought!

    Vanessa V. wrote on March 14th, 2010
  9. My kids love pork chops. Never tried cooking pork loin for the kids but this recipe looks great and will give it a try next week.

    Fitness Contrarian wrote on March 14th, 2010
  10. Please do what you can to watch Horizons did cooking make us human ?

    Aside from the gob shots it was superb..followed the chronology de la book..beg steal or borrow to watch.

    simon fellows wrote on March 14th, 2010
  11. Here’s an idea to add to this – to seal the moisture in and keep the pork nice and juicy – you could wrap bacon around the outside. Yum!

    Roanne wrote on March 15th, 2010
  12. This was great! The filling was so good:) Mmmm..

    Nadia wrote on March 15th, 2010
  13. Sounds great. However, that loin MUST be browned in a skillet before baking. Secure the pork with twine and make sure you get a deep brown crust on the outside.

    Brown = flavor.

    SDM wrote on March 16th, 2010
  14. This is sooooo good! It is very much like a dish that my husband, a chef, makes, but tonight I made dinner. Ta da! A wonderful recipe, but SDM is correct about browning the outside. Also, we had so many wonderful drippings that we will be making a gravy with them for tomorrow night. Double yum! Thanks, Mark, for the inspiration.

    CaveWoman wrote on October 21st, 2013
  15. Absolutely wonderful! I’m cooking it for the 3rd time and its been great both times. It’s going to be one of my dishes for Christmas lunch.

    Joan wrote on December 24th, 2013

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