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Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Cornichon Salad

This composed salad can be served as a first course on individual plates or family style on a platter. You can increase the amount of ingredients to make the salad substantial enough for lunch or a light supper. Mustard and freshly sliced baguettes commonly accompany the salad, but resist the temptation to construct a sandwich—the French way is to eat the bread alongside.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pork tenderloins, each about 3/4 lb.
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 2 cups baby arugula leaves
  • 1 to 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 8 to 12 cornichons
  • Dijon mustard for serving

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Sprinkle the pork tenderloins with the salt and pepper. Set an ovenproof fry pan just large enough to hold the tenderloins over medium-high heat and melt the butter with 2 tsp. of the olive oil. When the butter foams, add the tenderloins and sear, turning once, until browned, about 6 minutes total. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 145°F, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the tenderloins to a cutting board and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Separate the head of butter lettuce into leaves; reserve the larger outer leaves for another use. Arrange the smaller, pale yellow inner leaves and the arugula leaves on a platter. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tsp. olive oil and the vinegar, to taste. Cut the tenderloins into slices 1/2 inch thick.

Arrange the sliced pork and cornichons on top of the greens. Serve immediately, accompanied by Dijon mustard. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of French Cooking, by Georgeanne Brennan & Sarah Putnam Clegg (Oxmoor House, 2009).