For some reason, cherries are in the stores right now… even at Whole Foods. Because I find it hard to pass them up, I came up with a great little salsa for this pink peppercorn crusted pork tenderloin. Even if cherries are not in the stores when you are reading this, thawed frozen cherries will work just was well.
Pink peppercorns are not true peppercorns, meaning they are not from the genus Piper. The happen to be the same size and shape as a peppercorn, hence the name. The taste is somewhat floral with a distinct peppery bit to them… a perfect counterpart to the cherries.
Pork tenderloin is a nice lean cut of meat which I think is at it’s best when grilled. The smoky char is of the grilled pork is complimented by the sweet cherries, sour kumquats and the spicy chile. Finish the dish with some big flakes of Maldon sea salt and you have a light, elegant and satisfying dish that hits all the right spots… plus it’s really pretty!
- For the cherry salsa:
- 2 cups pitted and quartered fresh or thawed frozen cherries
- 10 kumquats, thinly sliced
- 1 Serrano chile, thinly sliced, remove seeds if desired
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- Juice from ½ lime
- 1 large pinch, kosher salt
- For the pork tenderloin:
- 1½ pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon pink peppercorns
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Sea salt flakes such as Maldon
- Stir together all of the salsa ingredients and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Season the tenderloin(s) with salt, freshly ground black pepper. Place pink peppercorns on a hard flat surface and crush with a heavy bottom pan.. Measure out 1 teaspoon of crushed peppercorns and set aside. Sprinkle the remaining peppercorns over the tenderloin(s), and drizzle with a little olive oil. Let sit at room temperature while prepping the grill.
- Set up grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Brush and oil grate when ready to start cooking. Place pork on the hot oiled grill. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side (four sides) for a total of 14 to 18 minutes or until internal temperature registers a minimum of 140˚F (medium rare) and up to 160˚F (medium).
- Remove tenderloin(s) from grill and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Slice across the tenderloins on the bias, sprinkle with reserved pink peppercorns, and serve with cherry salsa.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!