Pork with Corn-Cilantro Georgia Pecan Pesto

  • Yields 4 Servings


  • Pork Tenderloin
    • Vegetable oil spray
    • 1/4 cup Corn-Cilantro Pesto (recipe follows)
    • 1 pound pork tenderloin, all visible fat removed
    • 1 cup tomato sauce (recipe follows)
  • Corn-Cilantro Pesto
    • 1 cup firmly packed cilantro leaves
    • 1/4 cup firmly packed parsley leaves
    • 1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
    • 1/3 cup canned no-salt-added whole kernel corn, drained
    • 2 tablespoons chopped Georgia Pecans
    • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • 2 garlic cloves, quartered
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 4 teaspoons olive oil
    • Fresh lime juice or water (optional)
  • Tomato Sauce
    • Vegetable oil spray
    • 1/2 cup chopped onions
    • 1 garlic clove, minced, or 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
    • 8-oz. can no-salt-added tomato sauce
    • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


Pork Tenderloin

Using vegetable oil spray, spray a broiler pan with rack or a wire rack and a shallow roasting pan.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Butterfly the tenderloin by cutting it lengthwise almost in half. Lay out flat. Cover meat with plastic wrap. Use the flat end of a meat mallet to pound meat to a 1/4-inch thickness.

Spread 1/4 cup pesto over cut surface of tenderloin. Roll up tenderloin from one of the short ends and tie in several places with string to secure. (Can be wrapped in plastic wrap at this point and stored in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours before cooking.)

Place tenderloin on prepared rack in broiler pan. Roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then turn tenderloin over and roast 10 – 20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees F. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.

Cut pork into medallions and serve with sauce.

COOK’S TIP: Tenderloin usually comes packaged in two pieces. Wrap the unused piece and refrigerate or freeze for another recipe.

This recipe makes more pesto than you need for the pork, so try some with pasta or stir some into vegetable soup for a fresh flavor boost. Refrigerate leftover pesto in a small airtight container for up to one week, or freeze for up to one month.

Nutrient analysis (per serving): Calories 207; Protein 26 g; Carbohydrates 8 g; Cholesterol 69 mg; Total Fat 7 g; Saturated Fat 2 g; Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g; Monounsaturated Fat 3.5 g; Fiber 1 g; Sodium 301 mg.

Corn-Cilantro Pesto (about 3/4 cup)

Prepare pesto in a blender or food processor. Process cilantro, parsley, Parmesan, corn, pecans, shallot, 1 tablespoon lime juice, garlic and salt until well combined, stopping and scraping the sides occasionally.

With machine running, gradually add oil. Process until well combined. If the pesto is thicker than you like, add a teaspoon or so of lime juice.

Tomato Sauce (about 1 cup)

Spray a medium saucepan with vegetable oil spray. Add onion and garlic and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until tender.

Stir in remaining sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until desired consistency.