Pork loin is a lean cut of meat, easily overcooked. But it compensates for this in quick cooking time and delicate flavor.
I had a package of loin strips to use up last night, and I was craving sunny food. This hit the spot - it has all the flavor of hard work, but comes together surprisingly quick! Each strip of meat is cut in half and filled with a savory Tuscan mix of sun-dried tomatoes, breadcrumbs, green olives, herbs and olive oil, then baked and finished with Parmesan for a golden, toasty finish.
The oil and breadcrumbs keep the meat from drying out too much as it bakes, and all the flavors of onion, garlic and herbs infuse the meat even in its short cooking time.
This dish takes advantage of those packages of boneless loin strips, cut like ribs and common in the meat section. You could of course make this recipe with a whole pork loin; just increase the roasting time.
Pork Loin Stuffed with Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1 pound pork loin, cut into strips
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green olives
3/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 400ºF. Cut up the pork, if you didn't buy it already in rib-like strips. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Chop the onion finely and slice the garlic. Sweat the onions in olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another five minutes. Remove from the heat and let cook.
Stir together the onions and garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, breadcrumbs, and herbs. Add olive oil until it clumps together, and season with salt and pepper.
Split each pork loin strip down the center, pile in some stuffing and put back together, like a sandwich. Spread any leftover stuffing around the meat and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 155ºF. Take out of the oven and let rest for a few minutes while you preheat the broiler.
Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, then put under the broiler for a couple minutes or until cheese is melted and breadcrumbs are crispy and toasted.