For this particular Sunday dinner, B and I decided to go with an Italian theme. I’ve always wanted to make stuffed pork, so I got advice from a more culinarily-advanced friend before embarking on this seemingly complicated project. The key, especially when using a cheese-based stuffing that could potentially ooze out, is to make sure the ends are sealed. We did this by not slicing the pork all the way through to the ends, basically creating a pocket, rather than a flap. But this is just one of many ways to do this. Whatever way you decide, just make sure it’s tightly tied and you’re good to go!
Stuffed Pork Loin
1 half pork loin
1 cup soft goat cheese
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fennel pollen
1 tablespoon dried lavender
salt and pepper
Prepare pork loin by using a sharp knife to a slit lengthwise in the pork loin, stopping before the ends to create a pocket for the stuffing. Rub olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper inside and out.
In a bowl, combine goat cheese, pine nuts, and half of the parsley, basil, fennel pollen, and lavender. Stuff the pork loin with the cheese mixture and tie with butcher’s twine, making sure the pocket is tightly sealed. Pat the pork with the remaining fennel pollen and lavender.
Place the pork on medium heat grill and sear on all sides. Move loin to indirect heat and cook until desired doneness, about 25-30 minutes.
Remove butcher’s twine, slice, and sprinkle with remaining parsley and basil before serving.
4 to 5 pounds cauliflower
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the cauliflower florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the cauliflower florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the cauliflower and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
Remove the cauliflower from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.
original recipe by Ina Garten
Serve the pork and cauliflower with caprese lightly dressed with good olive oil and enjoy!