Dive into dinner next week -- and warm up to wintry hues and flavors that might have not yet graced your dining room table. A lean and robust pork tenderloin, paired with a satisfying cup of soup and glass of wine, will take your dinner date to a new level of delight.
TUSCAN WHITE BEAN SOUP
Smooth and sophisticated, this earthy bowl of braised white beans, sage and a hint of bacon bring back memories of cool Tuscan night (warmed up with glasses of rich red wine). Though the process is slow, the product is simply perfect.
When beans are tender, ladle soup into a blender and purée until smooth. Garnish with shaved parmesan cheese and croutons. It is really important to purée hot liquids in batches with the lid vented, thus allowing steam to escape properly.
Makes 4 servings
1 lb. of cannellini or great northern beans, soaked overnight
2 slices of bacon
1 onion, diced
1 celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
4 sage leaves
2 quarts low-sodium chicken stock
1 tsp. olive oil
Salt + pepper
1. In a heavy bottom pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Roughly chop bacon and add to the pot. Sauté until lightly golden.
2. Add onion, celery, garlic, and sage leaves. Saute until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Tilt the pot, and remove most of the residual oil with a spoon. Drain the beans and add to the pot.
4. Cover with 1 quart of chicken stock and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer until the beans are tender about 1- 1½ hours. Season with salt and pepper.
For creamy version, remove half of the soup (with a portion of bacon and sage) and transfer to a blender. Vent the lid and puree in batches. Add additional chicken stock if too thick. Garnish with parmesan cheese and croutons.
Inspired by Clever Carrot
PORK TENDERLOIN WITH CHERRY VINAIGRETTE
Take advantage of the season's stone fruits--prepare a mustard-infused dark cherry vinaigrette and a linen landscape for an all-natural pan-roasted pork tenderloin. Plus, the fresh arugula bed doubles as greens and salad; no need for a second course in between soup and supper.
Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1½-pound pork tenderloin
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 cups halved pitted sweet or sour cherries
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 bunch arugula
1, Preheat oven to 400°. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper; cook, turning occassionally, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes.
2. Transfer pork to a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in oven for 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, toss cherries, vinegar, oil, and mustard in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.
4. Slice pork and serve with arugula and vinaigrette.