If you are looking for an effortless dinner with high potential to please, look no further. This is a subtly fragrant piece of meat to welcome the first spring vegetables, or refresh on a hot summer day. It requires almost no work, just a nice piece of tenderloin, a meat thermometer, and a tiny bit of greens on the side. —QueenSashy
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: QueenSashy is a data scientist by day, James Beard-award nominated food blogger by night.
WHAT: A simple, ginger-packed pork tenderloin to keep in your back pocket.
HOW: Marinate tenderloin in a mixture of olive oil, ginger, basil, and lime zest for several hours. Either cook it on the grill or in the oven, then slice and serve.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is one of those just-plain-delicious recipes that we'll file away into our "Weeknight Cooking" collection, then pull out when we're craving a main course that goes with just about anything. —The Editors
extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon if using an oven
In a one gallon plastic bag, combine the olive oil, basil, ginger, lime zest and 1 teaspoon of salt, or to taste. Add the pork tenderloin and coat with the marinade. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.
Bring the meat in the marinade to room temperature for about 1 hour before placing it on the grill. Remove the tenderloin from the marinade. Discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat. Brush the grill with vegetable oil. Place the tenderloin on the grill, cover, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, turning every minute or 2, until the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 140° F. Transfer the tenderloin to a plate, cover with aluminum foil, and let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes. Carve the tenderloin in 1/2-inch thick slices. Season with salt and pepper and serve. (And, if you happen to be one of the unlucky few with no backyard, no grill, and no courage to grill on your fire escape, do not despair, skip this step and follow alternate instructions below.)
Alternate instructions for the unfortunate souls with no grill: Preheat the oven to 400° F. Remove the tenderloin from the marinade. Discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron pan and brown the pork tenderloin nicely on all sides. Place the pan in the oven. Roast the tenderloin for about 10 to 16 minutes, until the internal thermometer registers 140° F. Transfer the tenderloin to a plate, cover with aluminum foil, and let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes. Carve the tenderloin in 1/2-inch thick slices. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Aleksandra aka QueenSashy is a scientist by day, and cook, photographer and doodler by night. When she is not writing code and formulas, she blogs about food, life and everything in between on her blog, Three Little Halves. Three Little Halves was nominated for 2015 James Beard Awards and the finalist for 2014 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. Aleksandra lives in New York City with her other two halves, Miss Pain and Dr. V.