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Spice-Rubbed Pork Loin with Ratatouille

Spice-Rubbed Pork Loin with Ratatouille
Eggplant comes in a range of shapes and sizes, from barely bigger than an egg—and the same ivory color—to the familiar large purple globe variety. Baby eggplant looks like its larger kin but is smaller, generally 3 to 5 inches long. It is thinner skinned than large eggplant and is less likely to be bitter. Other alternatives for this dish include slender dark purple Asian eggplant or the slender pale lavender variety known as Chinese eggplant.

Ingredients:

For the spice rub:

  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 boneless pork loin roast, about 3 lb.
  • 3 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 3 baby globe eggplant, peeled and cut into
      chunks
  • 1 zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and cut into
      chunks
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. capers, including brine

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

To make the spice rub, in a small bowl, combine the oregano, garlic powder and pepper.

Pat the pork dry with paper towels and rub all over with the spice rub. Place the pork in an oiled heavy roasting pan just large enough to hold it comfortably.

Arrange the tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper and onion around the pork. Sprinkle with the garlic and basil, and season with salt and pepper. Scatter the capers over all.

Roast the pork until it is cooked through but still slightly pink in the center, about 1 1/2 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the meat should register 155°F to 160°F. Turn the vegetables twice during roasting.

Transfer the pork to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Slice and arrange on a warmed platter. Surround with the vegetables and serve. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Roasting, by Barbara Grunes (Simon & Schuster, 2002).