Recipe courtesy of Robert Irvine
Episode: Secret Garden
Spinach and Mint-Basil Pesto-Stuffed Pork Loin
Total:
1 hr
Active:
20 min
Yield:
5 to 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate
Total:
1 hr
Active:
20 min
Yield:
5 to 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

Pesto:
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Pork:
  • 2 (3 pound) pork loins, 10 to 12-inches long
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil

Directions

For the pesto: In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse the basil and mint 3 to 4 times or until chopped, then add the pine nuts and salt and pulse an additional 2 to 3 times. Add the garlic and cheese, pulse 2 times. With the food processor running, slowly add the oil to blend, this should take 1 minute. Don't over-pulse or puree; this will result in a brown liquid sauce, not a bright herb pesto. 

For the pork: To butterfly the pork, place each loin on a cutting board and slice lengthwise through the center, about 3 inches deep, but not cutting all the way through, until it opens to form a 10 by 10-inch square. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Season the inside of both loins with salt and pepper and evenly spread the pesto, leaving a 2-inch border on all sides. Sprinkle with feta and top with spinach. Roll tightly lengthwise. With butchers twine, tie several knots around the stuffed loins, 4 to 5 times, to ensure even cooking. 

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saute pan over high heat, season the outside of the loins with salt and pepper, and sear on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and place the loins on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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