pomegranate pork loin with vegetables on a white serving platter

Pomegranate Roasted Pork Loin with Quinoa & Sexy Veg

A roasted pork loin with aphrodisiac appeal

This roasted pork loin recipe comes from my cookbook Romancing the Stove the unabridged guide to aphrodisiac foods. And it’s one of the recipes in the book that gets the most feedback. Because the pork and vegetables cook together, my readers love how easily this full meal comes together.  

The flavor that inspired this entire dish is an iconic fruit of fall, pomegranate. In addition to being one of my favorite autumn fruits, pomegranate is one of the world’s most legendary aphrodisiac foods. In fact, it’s reputation is shared by cultures from every corner of the world. Learn more about the aphrodisiac history of pomegranate. And while this scarlet fruit is the dish’s star flavor, it is only one of many potent aphrodisiac ingredients. Sweet potatoes and fennel, both noted libido-lifters, are taken to a whole new level by roasting with sweet, pomegranate butter.

The magic of quinoa and mint

The base of the dish, quinoa, is known as a good-for-you grain. It is a good source of protein and is loaded with fiber. In this roasted pork loin recipe, quinoa gets a flavor transformation from a sweet, herbal note of mint and the acidic spark of fresh lemon juice. (Incidentally, did you know that mint is considered aphrodisiac? It not only sweetens breath but it’s actually a source of several vitamins and minerals important to sexual health.)

Chef’s tip for making this roasted pork loin together

Because this roasted pork loin dish requires several steps, it’s a perfect recipe for a couple to cook together. Believe it or not, working side-by-side with your sweetie in the kitchen can be an excellent prelude to games of love. (It’s also a great excuse to get some help making dinner!)

5 from 4 votes
pomegranate pork loin with vegetables on a white serving platter
Pomegranate Roasted Pork Loin with Quinoa and Sexy Veg
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Resting Time
15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

This roasted pork recipe combines multiple layers of flavor and texture to create one complex and sensual dish. It's a great recipe for couples to cook together, since there are multiple components to complete and bring together at the end. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pork Tenderloin
Diet and Health: gluten-free, healthy-ish
Seasonal: autumn, New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, winter
Ingredient: pomegranate, pork, quinoa
Servings: 4 servings
Created by: Amy Reiley
Ingredients
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-1 1/4 lb loin of pork
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 3 parsnips
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate kernels optional
For the Pomegranate Butter:
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter cold
  • salt to taste
For the Quinoa:
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint chopped
Instructions
For Pork Loin:
  1. Place shallot in a Ziplock bag with 1 cup pomegranate juice and 1/4 tsp salt. Remove pork from the refrigerator, add to the bag and marinate on the counter for 30 minutes. (This will allow the pork to come almost to room temperature before cooking.)
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees while you make the pomegranate butter (recipe below).
  3. Cut sweet potato and parsnip into uniform, 1/2-inch pieces. Chop fennel and onion into 1/2-inch long slices. Put the vegetables into a roasting pan and toss with the garlic and 2 Tbsp of the pomegranate butter, (recipe below).
  4. Add the pork to the pan and cook, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads 138 degrees.
  5. Remove the meat from the pan and cover with foil. Allow loin to rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Test vegetables with a fork. If they do not feel tender, return pan to the oven while meat is resting.
  7. Slice meat thickly and serve over the quinoa (recipe below) with the vegetables as garnish. Drizzle with remaining pomegranate butter to taste. (You may choose not to use all the butter. Any leftovers can be served over grilled chicken or steaks.) Sprinkle with pomegranate kernels (optional).
For the Pomegranate Butter:
  1. Saute shallots in white wine, let the wine reduce.
  2. Add pomegranate juice and reduce by a third.
  3. Remove from heat incorporate butter.
For the Quinoa:
  1. Add quinoa to a saucepan with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until quinoa has softened and is fluffy but still has texture. (Overcooking quinoa will produce something the texture of grits.)
  2. When quinoa is cooked, remove from heat and cool for 20 minutes. Toss with lemon juice and oil and season with salt to taste. Toss in the mint just before serving.

Love Amy’s Roasted Pork Loin recipe? Get the whole book, Romancing the Stove: the unabridged guide to aphrodisiac foods:

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