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Pork Tenderloin
with balsamic farro / zucchini spears

Active: 40 minTotal: 1 hr

Summer flavors are in every component of this meal, whether you cook it on the grill or stovetop / oven.
Smarts: Much of the time and dishes for this meal come from marinating the pork and preparing the farro, so do the prep steps ahead of time if at all possible.



Pork Tenderloin and Zucchini:
  • Lemons - 1, zest of
  • Oil, cooking - 3 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 Tbsp
  • Honey - 2 Tbsp
  • Garlic powder - 1 tsp
  • Paprika - 1 tsp
  • Pork tenderloin - 1 1/4 lbs
  • Zucchini - 1 lb, sliced into spears
  • Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
  • Stock, any type - 1/2 cup (only if cooking on stovetop / oven; skip if using grill)
  • Foil - for baking (only if cooking on stovetop / oven; skip if using grill)
Balsamic Farro:
  • Farro, semi-pearled / husked and uncooked - 3/4 cup
  • Tomatoes, cherry or grape - 1 cup, halved
  • Mozzarella, fresh - 3 oz, small cubes
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette (ingredients listed separately) - ~6 Tbsp
  • Basil - 8 leaves, chopped
Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • Vinegar, balsamic - 2 Tbsp
  • Maple syrup - 1 tsp (sub honey)
  • Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 3 Tbsp

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Make marinade - Zest lemons. Combine lemon zest, first part of oil (portion for pork / zucchini), soy sauce, honey, garlic powder, and paprika. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Marinate pork - Combine pork with marinade. Tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 days. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  3. Farro - (Double if making Wednesday’s meal.) Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Give it a generous sprinkle of salt and add farro. If you bought semi-pearled or husked farro, it should take about 25 minutes to cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Make vinaigrette - (Double if making Tuesday’s meal.) Whisk together vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard. Add oil (portion for vinaigrette) while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  5. Zucchini / Tomatoes / Cheese - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  6. Make balsamic farro - Combine farro (reserve half if doubled), tomatoes, and cheese. Add vinaigrette (reserve half if doubled) and toss to combine. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  7. Basil - Chiffonade basil.


  1. If cooking on a grill: Heat a grill to 450F / 232C, keeping one part over direct heat and one part over indirect heat.
  2. If cooking on the stovetop / oven: Heat oven to 450F / 232C.
  3. Remove pork from marinade (discard marinade) and season with some salt and pepper.
  4. Brush or toss zucchini spears with second part of oil (portion for pork / zucchini). Season with Italian seasoning and some salt.
  5. {grill}: Place pork and zucchini over direct heat. Cook, turning to sear on all sides, until both pork and zucchini are golden brown. Transfer to indirect heat and continue cooking with the lid closed until pork reaches 145F / 63C degrees and zucchini is tender.
  6. {stovetop / oven}: Brush an oven-safe skillet with some cooking oil and place over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear on all sides for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. {stovetop / oven}: Pour stock into skillet. Place zucchini spears around or on top of pork. Cover loosely with foil and bake in the oven for 14 to 16 minutes or until pork reaches 145F / 63C degrees and zucchini is tender.
  8. Transfer pork to a cutting board and rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
  9. While pork rests, add basil to balsamic farro. Stir everything to combine. Taste and season with some salt and pepper.
  10. Slice pork and serve with zucchini and farro salad on the side. Enjoy!

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This meal has 24 reviews

Like others, I chopped up the zucchini and cooked it in with the rest of the dish. I made way too much of this and it turned out to be a good thing as the flavors were wonderful and it reheated well. I toasted a mix of other nuts instead of using pine nuts and it worked out fine.

By: Angela
Posted: Sep 11, 2019
Diet: Vegetarian

I liked this, but I also did it a little different. Rather than making the zucchini separately, I chopped it up and cooked it as part of the main. It worked really well. In fact, I think it worked better than the green beans did. I love green beans but I don't think they work well as part of the farro. I'd probably skip them or make them as the side next time.

By: Chelsea
Posted: Jul 13, 2019
Diet: Vegetarian

This is the best cook smarts meal ever in the history of the universe.

By: Melanie
Posted: Jul 10, 2019
Diet: Original

Delicious and super easy to make

By: Christine
Posted: Jul 09, 2019
Diet: Gluten-free

Classic! and I grilled :) Yea me.

By: Karen
Posted: Jul 09, 2019
Diet: Paleo

I let the pork marinate for a full day and it came out really tender and flavorful - I'll definitely make this again! The farro salad was great too - it's always fun to learn a new and tastier way to serve a relatively plain food!

By: Melissa
Posted: Jul 08, 2019
Diet: Original