A few months ago, I featured a recipe from Gourmet for roasted pork tenderloin with a toasted walnut vinaigrette—I loved the way it paired fresh, spicy arugula with the warm, savory dressing. Someone at Gourmet must also love this combination because this month's issue features another tenderloin salad with arugula and nuts. This time the salad is a take on Romesco sauce.
Romesco sauce is a Catalan dish that wonderfully combines almonds, garlic, peppers, chillies, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and sometimes bread. While the ingredients are traditionally bashed together to the thickness of pesto, the elements in this recipe stay separated and are scattered throughout the salad. I found the original recipe overwhelmingly spicy, but I've toned it down a bit in my adaptation by using half the dressing required and bulking it out with olive oil.
About the author: Blake Royer lives in Brooklyn and spends most of his free time cooking and writing about it here at Serious Eats and on The Paupered Chef. From 9 to 5 weekdays, he works as an assistant book editor in Manhattan.
- 1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 5 oz baby arugula
- 12 oz jarred roasted red pepper, rinsed and cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
Rub the tenderloin with a bit of oil, a pinch or two of salt, and a few turns of black pepper. Preheat a grill, or warm a grill pan over medium heat.
Grill pork, in pieces if necessary to fit, until a thermometer reads 150°F, about 20-25 minutes.
Warm the olive oil in a skillet and add the garlic, then the almonds, toasting until golden. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon.
Add the paprika and cayenne to the oil, stirring constantly until infused into the oil, then add the vinegar and boil for 1 minute.
Toss the arugula and peppers with the oil and vinegar dressing, top with the pork, then sprinkle almonds and garlic over the top.