Recipe courtesy of Robert Irvine

Spinach and Mint-Basil Pesto-Stuffed Pork Loin

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: 5 to 6 servings
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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

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  4. 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. 
  5. 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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