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Olive and Mushroom-Smothered Pork Tenderloin

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Serves 8
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Ingredients (17)

  • Olive-Mushroom Spread
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (6-ounce) can pitted black olives, drained
  • 1 heaping tablespoon capers
  • Pork
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 2 ½ pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

When I want to please a crowd but don’t have a lot of time, this is one of my go-to recipes. Blending olives and mushrooms makes a tapenade-like spread that I can prepare ahead, and I love how the salty olives contrast with the mild pork tenderloin. I pair this dish with simple mashed potatoes or Roasted Pear and Cranberry Brussels Sprout)—or both.

Instructions

To make the olive-mushroom spread: In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the mushrooms until they begin to caramelize at the edges and have lost most of their water, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, lower the heat to medium, and cook until the onion begins to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Transfer the mushroom mixture to a food processor, add the olives and capers, and pulse until coarsely chopped. You may have to pulse a few times to break up the olives. Taste, seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper if desired (keep in mind that the olives are already quite salty). With the food processor running, drizzle in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil until a chunky paste forms. Set aside.

To make the pork: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, combine the paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper. Rub the spices into the tenderloins.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. In batches, brown each side of the tenderloins until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Place the tenderloins on the prepared baking sheet. Coat each tenderloin with a thick layer of the olive-mushroom spread and bake until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. If using an instant-read meat thermometer, the internal temperature at the thickest part of the tenderloin should reach 140°F. (It will continue to cook as it cools.)

Let the pork rest for at least 5 minutes or up to 15 minutes to give the juices time to reabsorb into the meat. Cut into thick slices to serve.

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