Shown Here Atop Thomas Keller's Red Potato and Green Bean Salad
My dad works at Saint Monica's Church and had to work the masses on Easter, so my parents suggested this year we just meet at a restaraunt in Santa Monica. This being our first Easter since my grandmother had passed away, I decided I wanted to keep the big family dinner tradition alive and offered to make Easter supper at our place. Traditionally my parents make scalloped potatoes, a large ham and my favorite Egg bread, but that seemed too daunting. Plus, we were eating around 4pm, so I wanted something a bit lighter.
I opted for a somewhat complicated Salad (see my post for Thomas Keller's Red Potato and Green Bean Salad), and a very simple Giada recipe for Roasted Pork Loin. This recipe is easy....like REALLY easy; but don't let the simplicity fool you, it's HUGELY delicious. Be very careful how long you cook the pork, so it remains moist. But regardless of the final result of the loin, you will be smothering it in a delicious, garlicky balsamic sauce. What could be better?
2 heads of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (3 1/2 - 4 1/2-pound) boneles pork loin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Roasted Garlic (above)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
To make the roasted garlic, cut the heads of garlic in half crosswise. Place garlic halves on a sheet of foil, drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Fold the foil up and around the garlic halves, making sure they stay upright. Seal the foil into an airtight package. Roast until the garlic cloves are golden and soft, about 60 minutes. Keep the garlic in the foil and cool slightly.*
*Don't be a dummy like me and not put this in some kind of dish in the oven; my foil leaked oil all over the bottom of our oven and the room filled with smoke. Thank goodness I didn't start a fire. Also, check your garlic about halfway through. Easier to burn than you think.
Thirty minutes after the garlic has started roasting, place the pork loin in a medium heavy roasting pan. Season on all sides with salt and pepper.
Roast the pork along with the garlic until an instant-read thermometer registers 140 to 145 degrees F, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the roasting pan from the oven, tent the pork with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes.
To make the vinaigrette, open the garlic packets and squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into a blender, squeezed the base of each garlic half. Add the parsey and balsamic vinegar and pulse until blended. Drizzle the oil into the blender while the machine is running. Add the sugar, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons water and blend until incorporated.
Slice the pork into 3/4-inch-thick slices and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the pork and pass the remaning vinaigrette alongside in a small dish. Pour a glass of wine, sit down, toast your family and dig in!