If you find yourself celebrating the holidays as a twosome this year, here is one option I propose: a fabulous, easy, lean roast loin of pork crusted in fennel seeds and fresh thyme with fabulous, soft caramelized fennel and red onions roasted alongside. Instead of gravy, top it with a light drizzle of simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The whole dinner takes an hour, so slightly longer than our usual Dinners for Two, but, it is a holiday meal after all. Only about 10 minutes of that hour require any effort on your part. The vegetables roast in the oven with some olive oil for half an hour until they start to soften, and then the pork, coated in fennel and thyme, is placed in the pan alongside for another 25 minutes.
The vegetables come out collapsingly sweet and soft, and the pork comes out juicy; the seeds and herb around the outside makes up for the fact that we didn't spend time searing the pork beforehand. My little vinaigrette replaces a gravy, which is punchy and appropriate here. I serve it with a little mache and pistachio salad. So impressive for absolutely no effort.