Dress up roast pork with strawberry salsa
Pork tenderloin with fresh strawberry salsa make a sweet and spicy summer dinner.
Ripe, colorful berries make delicious desserts, but I also add them to salads or use them to make tasty condiments for cooked meats. I've used strawberries for this salsa, but any type of berry can be used.
Strawberries have an interesting history. In provincial France, strawberries were once regarded as an aphrodisiac and served to newlyweds in soups.
Be careful transporting fresh strawberries home because they bruise easily. They are best stored unwashed in a large container lined with paper towels. Wash them just before using. Strawberries taste best at room temperature.
Tips: If you like your salsa hot, add more jalapeno pepper. Placing the pork on a preheated baking sheet helps it to cook faster. The pasta side dish is made with rotini — a short cut, corkscrew pasta. Any type of pasta can be used.
Wine suggestion: Pork tenderloin with a fruity salsa would go well with a nice, fruity pinot noir.
ROAST PORK WITH STRAWBERRY SALSA
3⁄4 pound pork tenderloin
Olive oil spray
1-1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided use
1 cup ripe strawberries, hulled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat broiler, line a baking sheet with foil and place under broiler. Trim fat from pork. Cut it almost in half lengthwise and open like a book. Spray all sides with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon ground cumin. Remove baking sheet from broiler and place tenderloin on sheet. Broil five minutes. Turn and cook another five minutes. Test pork. A meat thermometer should read 145 degrees.
While pork broils, place strawberries in a medium-size bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Add onion and jalapeno pepper. Mix the remaining cumin and lime juice together and drizzle over ingredients. Add salt, to taste. Toss well and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve over sliced pork. Makes two servings.
ROTINI WITH SUMMER SQUASH
1⁄4 pound spinach rotini
1⁄2 pound yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fill a large saucepan with 3 to 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and boil five minutes. Add the squash and continue to boil two minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through but firm.
Drain the pasta and vegetables, leaving a few tablespoons of cooking water on the pasta. Toss with the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes two servings.
Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks including her newest, "The Flavors of the Florida Keys" and "Mix 'n Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes." Visit Linda on her web page at DinnerInMinutes.com or e-mail her at Linda@DinnerInMinutes.com.