Spice Rubbed Roasted Pork
and roasted squash with cranberries and pecans
This dish captures the flavors we associate with winter holidays but takes a lighter approach than most dishes served this time of year. Winter vegetables served alongside the pork are tossed with pecans for crunch and dried cranberries for a bit of sweetness.
Roasted Squash with Pecans and Cranberries:
- Squash, butternut - 1 lb , cubed ((look for pre-chopped in the produce or freezer section to save time))
- Cauliflower - 4 cups , florets ((look for pre-chopped in the produce or freezer section to save time))
- Carrots, medium - 2 , chopped
- Nuts, pecans - 1/3 cup , chopped
- Oil, cooking - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Vinegar, red or white wine - 1 tsp
- Ginger - 1 tsp , grated
- Cranberries, dried - 1/4 cup
Spice Rubbed Roasted Pork:
- Garlic powder - 2 tsp
- Cumin - 1 tsp
- Paprika - 1 tsp
- Thyme, dried - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Pork tenderloin - 1 1/2 lbs
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Stock, any type - 1/2 cup ((sub white wine))
- Make spice rub - Combine garlic powder, cumin, paprika, thyme, salt (the portion for the pork) and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Squash / Cauliflower / Carrots / Pecans - Prep as directed. Combine squash, cauliflower and carrots. Store pecans separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Pork tenderloin - Rub pork on all sides with spice rub and tenderize with a fork. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- Heat oven to 450F / 232C.
- Spread squash, cauliflower and carrots onto a sheet pan and cover tightly with foil. ‘Steam’ in oven for 15 minutes.
- While vegetables steam, combine oil, salt (the portions for the vegetables) and vinegar in a small bowl. Grate ginger into the bowl and stir to combine
- Once vegetables have steamed for 15 minutes, remove foil and pour oil and vinegar mixture over top. Stir to combine. Continue roasting for 20 to 25 minutes, shaking and rotating midway through until cauliflower is golden and squash is tender. (Note: If using frozen vegetables, they may cook more quickly so check them frequently towards the end of the cook time.)
- While the vegetables continue roasting, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add pecans and toast in the dry skillet, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Set pecans aside and return skillet to heat.
- To skillet, add oil (the portion for pork) and then pork to heated oil. Sear on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown.
- Pour stock into skillet, cover loosely with foil, and bake in the oven for 14 to 16 minutes or until pork reaches 145F / 63C degrees. Let rest, covered for 10 minutes.
- When vegetables are done roasting, toss with pecans and cranberries.
- Slice pork and pour cooking liquid over top. Enjoy with vegetables on the side.