Like a gift waiting to be unwrapped, a pork tenderloin rests on my cutting board. Anticipation builds as I wonder whether the spinach and apricot stuffing held in place during the rolling process. I start slicing and by the second slice, green spirals appear. Adding a touch of sweet apricot glaze makes the spirals glisten. Visually appealing and made with wholesome ingredients, this pork tenderloin is the perfect entrée for the holidays.
Spinach and Apricot-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Recipe created by Sunny Anderson
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¼ cup chopped Vidalia onion
2 Tbsp. chopped dried apricots
¾ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 (5-ounce) bag of baby spinach, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup chopped walnuts (1 ounce)
½ cup apricot preserves (5 ounces)
¼ cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1¼ pounds pork tenderloin
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, apricots, and pumpkin pie spice and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes.
4. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
5. Stir in walnuts and season with salt and pepper. Scrape filling into a bowl and set aside to cool.
6. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine preserves with stock and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove glaze from heat and stir in parsley.
7. Butterfly pork: Place tenderloin on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, run blade along length of tenderloin parallel to board. As you cut, open meat until you have a flat piece. Using a meat pounder, pound tenderloin to ½” thickness. Season with ⅛ tsp. each salt and pepper and spread filling over meat. Roll tenderloin into original shape. Using kitchen twine, tie pork at 2″ intervals. Season pork with ¼ tsp. each salt and pepper.
8. Using the same ovenproof skillet, heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil until shimmering. Add rolled pork and cook over medium-high heat, turning, until browned all over, about 8 minutes.
9. Transfer pan to oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 145° in the thickest section, about 15 minutes. Loosely cover pork with foil and let rest 10 minutes. Remove strings and cut pork into 1″-thick slices. Transfer to a platter and drizzle with glaze.
1. I felt the tenderloin needed more flavor, so the second time I tested the recipe, I used season salt in place of regular salt.
2. Next time for variety, I will omit the walnuts and add mushrooms and roasted red peppers to the spinach.