Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tuscan Pork

When I think of Tuscany, I think of sunflowers. I set a table for two to chase the winter blahs away.

I've been dreaming of warmer weather, sunflowers and dragonflies.

As I prepped our dinner, DH tended to the fireplace and poured the wine.

Just out of the oven, it looks like an alien with the food loops holding it together. The pork tenderloin is roasted inside a baguette with fresh herbs, garlic and olive oil. The recipe calls for fennel pollen which I couldn't find locally so I placed an order with The Spice House. The taste is like fennel seed sweetened and magnified 100 times. The jar says to use on salmon, salads, pork or chicken.

A quote from Saveur magazine regarding fennel pollen: "if angels sprinkled a spice from their wings, this would be it".

Here's the recipe:
Pork Roasted in a Baguette - Joanne Weir
2 teaspoons fresh chopped sage
2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fennel pollen*
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 loaf crusty baguette

On a work surface, mince the sage, rosemary, pepper, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and fennel pollen together.

Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Cook the pork, turning occasionally, until golden on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Roll the pork in the herb mixture and set aside. Cut the baguette in half the long way and scoop out the soft insides. Brush the inside of the baguette with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Place the pork on the inside of the baguette so that the pork is completely enclosed. Trim off the excess ends of the bread. Tie the baguette, at 1-to 2-inch intervals, with kitchen string.

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Place the pork on a baking sheet and roast until done, 155°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven, let rest 10 minutes. Remove the strings and cut into slices. Serve. (Serves 4)

Thanks for stopping by! Debbie
Debbie@Mountain Breaths
Debbie@Mountain Breaths

Hello, I'm Debbie.I enjoy hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the Adirondack Mountains (thus Mountain Breaths). I live in Upstate NY with my supportive husband and have three precious sons..


  1. I love this! I feel as if I've taken a little trip to Tuscany. I cook pork tenderlion all the time, and I'd never thought to cook it this way. What a fantastic idea!!! I love kitchen gadgets, too, so I will have to look for this...!
    I'm going to try and plant fennel in our garden...fingers crossed.
    Thank you for this divine recipe.

  2. Excellent post, Debbie! Great table by the fire! Great meal and what a romantic couple! Yours is a Fantastic Foodie Friday! What a great start to the weekend!

  3. OOOhh, that sounds and looks so good. The fennel is so interesting...I'd never heard of it before now.

  4. Wow! I learned a lot in this post! That pork loin sounds divine! Fennel pollen... what other things would you season with this? If it's heaven sent, then I definitely want to try it!

    I've not seen that cooking thing you used to tie around the loin and bread. Really neat!

    Thank you for sharing this with us. It was a treat!

    Happy Foodie Friday!


    Sheila :-)

  5. Dining by the fire with summer theme dishes...I can almost feel the warmth ;-) The tuscan pork looks wonderful - did you like it? It is one of our favorite meals. I always use the baguettes that are partially baked and they come out so good, crunchy on the outside and filled with pork goodness on the inside.

  6. Tuscany! Pork! Just love it! Look so great! Thanks for the recipe.

  7. Debbie, what a special post... I've always thought the food loops are so fun and your Tuscan pork looks fabulous. (I've never heard of fennel pollen.)

    What a romantic setting, beautiful dishes and the dragonfly napkin rings are adorable.

    You certainly created a wonderful "rehearsal" for your upcoming Tuscan party.

  8. Debbie - perfect setting, beautiful table, Joe tending the fire!!

    The pork looks wonderful, there are so many ways to cook those loins and lucky for me many easy ones! I've never tried this way - and have never seen those food loops before! Seems much more festive than butchers twine!

    Great post!

  9. Debbie, I am so glad I found your blog. Your tablescape is so pretty. I love your dishes. The pork tenderloin looks wonderful. Did you like the fennel pollen? I am not familiar with it. I do love the idea of the food loop. Do you use it often? I am a gadget kind of gal. I am adding you to my favorites. I hope that's ok. I'll be back.

  10. Well look at that a food loop! I hadn't seen one before. We love fennel around here so I'll be on the lookout for fellen pollen...

  11. Debbie, first, I love, love your tablesetting! That Tuscan pork is so good... I have the same food loops and I also ordered the pollen from Spice House. It really does add a perfect taste to this recipe. Great job!

  12. I love the sunflower dishes and the meat looks devine.

  13. Pretty post Debbie! My favorites are the dragonflies. I need a pink loop too! Lucky Joe getting to have a fireside dinner. Love the plates too.

  14. Terrie, I do enjoy the fennel pollen, and I will post other recipes once I try it with chicken and fish.

    Marsha, we did like this, and it will be an easy entree for our dinner party. There are six couples in our dinner group, so I'll make 4. I'll need another package of food loops...!

    Thankyou to everyone for stopping by!

  15. What a beautiful post. Your table is beautiful, and the pork looks delicious! I love the "food loop", what a great idea. We'll definitely be trying this one, once I get my hand on some fennel pollen. Thanks for sharing this. Kathy

  16. Cool toy! I love the pork tenderloin idea and I have bookmarked you~!

  17. Happy Foodie Friday!I have those if I can make this


  18. I have those food loops too ;) You and Joe do the most romantic dinners together. I am starting to enjoy fennel more and more and I love the reference to fairy dust. I can't wait to see what your group comes up with for the Tuscan party!

  19. Your pink loops look like Mardi Gras! What a warm and rich table by the fire - looks just perfect.

  20. I love pork tenderloin, (i get them for a great price at Sam's Club) but I have not used the fennel pollen, we have a great spice store on Grand Ave in St. Paul, I'm going to check this out. Oh, BTW, I'm loving your table setting. What a wonderful dinner that must have been. ~ Robyn

  21. Oh what a great post...The table is lovely, the fire, so cozy, and the food looks delicious.
    I never did find those food loops...Thanks for reminding me to look again!

  22. I've made this dish before, too. It is delicious, isn't it?! Even the leftovers are great. I'll be watching to see what else you do with the fennel pollen!! Love your setting!


I'm so happy you decided to stop by my blog. Please leave a comment as I enjoy hearing from each and every one of you!


Appetizers (2) Birthday Week (2) Blog Anniversary (2) Bread (2) Breakfast (4) Breakfast; MacKenzie-Childs (2) Breville Pie Maker (3) Cannoli (3) Chicken (2) Chicken Riggies; Foodie Friday (1) CHRISTMAS 2011 (4) Come To The Table (4) Cookies (2) Dessert (9) Dinner Parties (3) Easter 2012 (2) Events (2) Fairy Garden (2) Favorites on the First (2) Filled Strawberries (4) Flashback Friday (6) Foodie Friday (20) Garden 2009 (3) Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars (2) Halloween (2) Kentucky Derby; Run for the Roses Pie (1) Key West (4) Kick-Off To Summer BBQ (1) Lake Life (2) Lemon (3) Lemon Berry Cake with Mascarpone Filling (2) Let's Dish (13) Let's Dish; Tablescape Thursday (1) MacKenzie-Childs (39) MacKenzie-Childs; Traveling Tote (4) Magazine recipes (2) MAGNOLIA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING (2) Martha's Vineyard (3) McKenzie-Childs (2) Miss Aurora; (1) Monday Mosaic (5) Monday Mosaic; Seasonal Sundays (3) Mother's Day 2012 (3) Mystery Ingredient; Halloween 2013 (2) National Bundt Day (3) Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan (3) Outdoor Wednesdays (2) OWLS (3) Pasta (2) PEONIES (4) Philadelphia Garden Show 2009 (7) Pier One (2) Pork (2) PUMPKIN PIE FUDGE (3) Rhubarb (5) Salads (2) Seafood (2) Seasonal Sundays (9) Showy Lady's-slipper (Cypripedium reginae) (2) Soup (4) Spider Web Pizza (1) St. Patrick's Day (4) Summer 2013 (2) Summer Dessert (3) Sunday Favorites (3) Sycamore Hill Gardens (2) Table For Two (2) Tablescape Thursday (17) Tablescape Thursday; MacKenzie-Childs (2) Thanksgiving (5) Tips and Tidbits; (2) Tybee Island; Georgia; Savannah; (3) Utica Greens; Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook; Escarole (1) Valentine (2) Valentine's Day (3) Vietri (4) Weekends (6) World Famous Paradise Bakery Sugar Cookies with Magnolia Bakery Buttercream Frosting (3) Zucchini Bread (2)