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Fennel-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

For an easy side dish, roast chunks of potatoes, root vegetables or winter squash—tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper—alongside the pork. Put in the oven about 10 minutes before roasting the pork. Stir the vegetables often, and roast until tender.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. coarsely crushed black peppercorns
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/4 lb., or 2 tenderloins, each about 3/4 lb.

Directions:

Prepare the pork
Grate 1 1/2 tsp. zest from the lemon and squeeze 1 Tbs. juice into a small bowl. Add the fennel seeds, salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil and stir to combine. Place the pork in a roasting pan and rub all over with the spice mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to overnight.

Roast the pork
Preheat an oven to 425°F.

Roast the pork until it is browned on the outside and barely pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 145° to 150°F, 12 to 15 minutes total. Transfer the pork to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut the pork on the diagonal into slices 1/2 inch thick, divide among 4 plates and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Weeknight, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2006).