Stuffed Pork Tenderloin on Grape Tomatoes

A butterflied pork tenderloin is stuffed with fresh spinach and cheddar and served over a bed of sautéed whole grape tomatoes. A 1 to 1-1/4 lb. tenderloin serves 4 people. If you're uncomfortable butterflying the tenderloin, have your butcher do it for you.

 Watch Jacques prepare this dish  here  (at about the 8:25 mark)

Watch Jacques prepare this dish here (at about the 8:25 mark)

Recipe

4 T. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 8-oz. package baby spinach
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Pork Tenderloin (about 1-1/4 lbs.)
3/4 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/4 c. fresh chopped parsley

Heat 2 T. of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 1 minute, then add the spinach, pushing down into the skillet, and the salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat until the spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid and cook, uncovered, until the liquid from the spinach has evaporated. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

Trim the tenderloin of any fat and silverskin. I had a bit of trouble butterflying it, so I sliced it lengthwise to within about an inch of the other side, laid it open as flat as I could, covered it with saran wrap and pounded it to an even thickness and wide enough that it would enclose the stuffing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, turn over and lay half of the spinach down the middle, then the cheese, and the rest of the spinach on top. Fold up the sides to enclose the filling. Wrap two strips of foil, about 1" wide, around the tenderloin to keep the stuffing inside. You can also put a bit of foil over the ends so the stuffing doesn't fall out.

Preheat the oven to 350. Heat the remaining 2 T. oil in a large ovenproof skillet. Sprinkle the outside of the tenderloin with salt and pepper and place it in the skillet over medium high heat to brown it on all sides. This takes about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, take off the foil strips and put the skillet in the oven and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the thickness of the pork tenderloin). When done, transfer to a platter.

Add the tomatoes to the hot skillet and season with the remaining salt and pepper and add the chopped parsley. Saute over high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes until softened.

Slice the tenderloin crosswise into 8 pieces and spread the tomatoes all around and serve.

– Jacques Pépin, "More Fast Food My Way"