This pork loin roast is one of the easiest, elegant summer meals you can make. Relatively health and low stress, it’s the kind of dinner to use for a celebration or just a night when you want to feel special. The ratatouille recipe can also be served on its own, for a Meatless Monday dinner or a vegetarian lunch loaded with summer fruits and vegetables.
Tips on cooking pork loin
Pork tenderloin is one of the best meat choices for a healthy meal. Unfortunately, it has a reputation as hard to cook. Don’t believe it! With a few tips, you’ll soon realize this is one of the easiest meat choices you could make.
Pork loin is high in protein and relatively low in saturated fat, making it a favorite meat choice of doctors and nutritionists. Incidentally, it is also a source of zinc and selenium, two nutrients essential to maintaining sexual health.
Tenderloins are generally small, sold in 1 to 1 1/2 lb packages. This works well for our purposes. You’ll have dinner for two with just enough leftovers for another meal. (This recipe can easily be doubled if you’re cooking for more people.)
You can prepare a pork loin with a simple flavored salt or using a dry rub. But for this recipe, I make a glaze with peach jam and Dijon mustard. I think the combination of sweet and pungent makes the pork pair well with the sweet and acidic notes of the ratatouille.
The only tricky thing about roasting a pork loin is ensuring that you don’t overcook it. For this, you’ll need a meat thermometer. When the thermometer registers 140-145 degrees, it is important to not only remove the meat from the oven but to transfer it to a serving platter or cutting board to rest. The tenderloin will continue to cook while it rests and if you don’t remove it from the pan, it will overcook.
An unorthodox version of ratatouille
Instead of tomatoes, my untraditional version of a southern French casserole incorporates ripe, summer (aphrodisiac) peaches to make a Peach Ratatouille.
The baby-fuzzed peach, with its almost obscene cleft, has some surprising things in common with the red, nightshade that typically stars in ratatouille. For one, both of these juicy fruits are historically aphrodisiac. (And yes, in case you’re still debating, tomato is botanically a fruit. But it is also acceptable to call it a vegetable.) Both fruits are higher in acidity than their sweet flavor indicates. And this is the main reason why I think peach makes a compelling substitute for tomato in this vegetable dish.
Why this is a recipe for a romantic dinner
In addition to the peaches, goat cheese adds both to the layers of aphrodisiac ingredients as well as the recipe’s tangy flavor. And then there’s the garlic. You might be surprised to learn that garlic is an aphrodisiac. Learn more about what makes this pungent allium an aphrodisiac.
Of course, the two other main flavoring agents of this fresh, summery, peach ratatouille. Both basil and thyme are also held in regard as aphrodisiac. (For this recipe, it is essential that you use fresh herbs, not dried.) And all of these ingredients combine make a perfect accompaniment to the simplicity of roast pork loin. But I think you’ll agree that the subtle and unusual choice to rub the pork with coconut oil gives the flavor a certain nuttiness that makes it cry out for sweet, tangy peaches.
Make the ratatouille for a vegetarian meal
As I mentioned in my introduction, if you’re looking for a vegetarian meal, the peach ratatouille will stand on it’s own. You can serve it hot or at room temperature, as a light summer meal. Pack it on a picnic if you’re looking to seduce someone in the loving embrace of nature. Enjoy!
An easy and summer meal, this dish is a low stress choice for a healthy date night dinner. The ratatouille is perfect on it's own as a vegetarian meal but really wakes up the flavor of a roast pork loin.
- 2 Japanese eggplant cut into cubes
- 2 medium zucchini cubed similarly to the eggplant
- 2 medium peaches also cubed
- 1 medium onion roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- cup ½fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 oz chevre crumbled
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp peach jam
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp coconut oil*
- 1 pork loin approx. 1 ¼ lbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add eggplant through zest to a 9x13 pan that has been coated with a non-stick spray. Season with salt as desired and toss then top with crumbled chevre.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until eggplant and zucchini are fork tender.
- In a small bowl, combine garlic through coconut oil. Rub mixture over pork loin, thoroughly coating all sides. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- While pork is marinating, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roast port for 20 minutes, fat side down. Flip loin and roast an additional 20-25 minutes, until thermometer registers 140-145 degrees.
- Let pork rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Pin this Mustard Glazed Pork Loin Roast recipe:
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