We've been eating a lot more meat than normal lately. Summer brings it out in me. Much as I love chopping vegetables in my kitchen, meat is so easy--throw a big hunk on the BBQ or in the oven and call it good. Please stay on the line, vegetarian and vegan friends. My roughage-loving self isn't gone forever.
I had a pork loin the fridge, but no plan about how we'd eat it. Looking around, I found a lot of fruit that needed rescuing. Specifically, 8 apricots, 4 small peaches, one plum, and a couple handfuls of blueberries. Pork and fruit have always been keen on one another (pork chops and applesauce are BFF), so this wasn't a stretch. Yancey deemed this little compote perfect--sweet with just the right touch of not-sweet.
After dinner, leaning back in our chairs, we thought of John and Jordan, who are getting ready to put their house on the market and working like dogs to clean, weed, and pack. I called and asked if we could bring leftovers so they wouldn't have to worry about dinner. This may seem altruistic to you, but I'm a bottomless pit when it comes to affirmation and I knew I'd get some oohs and aahs. So I packed up sliced pork and compote, roasted fingerling potatoes, and some of this salad (minus the chickpeas, plus some little ribbons of fresh chard). And 4 slices of cake, which Jordan liked as much as I hoped she would.
Roasted Pork with Savory Summer Compote
Serves 6. You don't need to use the sage and rosemary when you roast the pork, but I'm delighted to find uses for my runaway sage. Roasting the pork on top of it flavored it very subtly. And you can use any one of these fruits alone--you don't have to combine as many different kinds as I did. You don't need to use tapioca if you want to cook your compote a little longer or you don't mind it a bit runnier.
1 4 lb. boneless pork loin
2 Tb. dijon mustard*
3 Tb. chopped fresh herbs (I used rosemary and oregano)
salt and pepper
sprigs of fresh sage and rosemary
1 finely chopped shallot
2 Tb. finely chopped fresh ginger*
1 Tb. vegetable oil
4 or 5 cups coarsely chopped fresh fruit--cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, blueberries, or a mixture of some/all
1/4 c. red wine vinegar*
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 ts. salt
1 Tb. quick cooking tapioca
Preheat oven to 350. Salt and pepper the pork, and line a roasting rack with the sage and rosemary sprigs. Place the pork on top of the herbs, and place the rack in a large roasting pan.
Mix mustard, herbs, and more salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub mustard mixture over pork and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 145. It will rise to 150 after you've taken it out. Let rest for a few minutes before slicing it.
In a medium saucepan, pour oil and let it heat over medium heat. Add shallot and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add fruit and salt, stir, and simmer for about 20 minutes until fruit is thickening and bubbling. Add tapioca (if using) and cook for another few minutes until thick.
Serve pork slices with compote on the top and garnish with fresh rosemary, if desired.
(*=Kitchen Staples. I'm trying to be better about pointing these out.)