Rosemary Pesto Stuffed Pork Loin with Blood Orange Carrots
The other day I was hanging out in the kitchen, chopping up some rosemary and it hit me, I haven’t had rosemary pesto in like, forever. Something about it sounded so good at that moment and before I knew it my mind/stomach started dreaming about all of the yummy things I could do with it. Still coming down after a blueberry + lemon-thyme roulade cake sugar high, I couldn’t let go of wanting to stuffed every rolled-up, spirally food item with delicious goodness. That being said, a stuffed pork loin felt like the natural and delightful thing to do next.
Rosemary and pork are a love affair from the stomach… and probably the heart too, since it makes me so happy. Pesto, rosemary, pork and wait, blood orange carrots? Oh yes, served up alongside this herb-filled hunk of meat are tender, citrus-sweet multicolored carrots roasted to perfection! Heaven has descended upon us people and I’m ready to feast!
Don’t forget that Easter is at a rapid pace to arrive (who else is excited to eat tons of Cadbury eggs and marshmallow chicks, because I sure am.) This Rosemary Pesto Stuffed Pork Loin with Blood Orange Carrots is a beautiful alternative to the traditional ham or turkey… unless you are having Prime Rib, then forget pork loin and continue on in your pursuit of gastronomical euphoria! On a side note, I will not say no to an invite, if you have room for one more at your table! Prime rib is definitely in my top 10 for weaknesses, on the other hand, sushi will always reign supreme. If that ever manages to change for me, know that the world if officially coming to an end, haha!
Now that I think about it, my top 10 weaknesses are:
- Sushi – hands down
- Wine – who am I kidding
- My two dogs. Their little bug-eyes melt my heart every time
- All adorable animals in general
- Back-rubs from my husband – we can be in a big argument, but the moment he starts giving me a back rub I completely forget why we were angry at each other. He’s the best!
- Thick, doughy bread
- Cute, squishy babies
- Prime rib
- Macaroons. I recently discovered this and it’s officially replaced my obsession for creme brulee
- Pinterest. Once I start, I cannot stop
This is likely a work in progress. However, at this moment, if you approached me with let’s say that thick, doughy bread and told me I could have the whole loaf, but I’m going to gain 5 pounds per slice. I’d tell you to slice that bad boy up and point me to the butter, I’ll take up jogging in the morning.
Yikes, talk about going down a rabbit hole right there… what was I originally talking about? Oh, that’s right, Easter dinner and serving this delicious, mouthwatering pork loin to your guests. It’s gorgeous on a platter and most of the components can be prepared a day in advance. That includes stuffing the pork loin with the rosemary pesto and marinating the carrots in the blood orange dressing. When it’s time to start cooking, just sear the meat, place everything in the roasting pan, and roast away. Simple as that!
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon rosemary, stems removed and finely chopped
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed blood oranges (about 2 oranges)
- 1 tablespoon white wine
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 bag (2 lbs) multicolored carrots (or regular orange carrots)
- 2 blood oranges, quartered
- 2 cup (packed) parsley leaves and stems
- 3/4 cup fresh rosemary, stems removed and finely chopped, plus rosemary sprigs for garnish
- ½ cup roasted pecans, chopped
- 2 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 Lemon, juice and zest
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 2 lb center cut boneless pork loin
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ½-1 cup chicken stock
- Mix together garlic, rosemary, salt, mustard, honey, blood orange juice, white wine, and olive oil in a shallow dish.
- Peel carrots and cut at a diagonal into 1-2 inch pieces. Place in shallow dish and combine with marinade. Cover and place in fridge until ready.
- In a food processor, combine parsley, rosemary, pecans and garlic. Pulse, until ingredients are well chopped.
- Add in olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and parmesan cheese. Pulse mixture for about a minute until everything is finally chopped and a soft pale green. The olive oil will cause this, as it emulsifies. Make sure not to over process or it will cook the pesto. Place pesto in a bowl, cover and place in fridge. Can be made 1-2 days ahead.
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- Rinse and dry pork loin. Butterfly loin by making shallow, horizontal cuts along the length of the roast, pulling the meat back and unrolling it. Lay meat flat, cover surface with plastic wrap and pound meat into an even thickness using a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin. Remove plastic wrap. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Spread an even layer of rosemary pesto over the surface of the flattened pork loin. Starting from one end, carefully roll up the pork loin into a spiral. Using butcher’s twine, secure loin in multiple areas. Sprinkle outer surface of loin with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Sear surface of pork, including sides. Place loin in large roasting pan. Remove carrots from fridge. Add quartered blood oranges to carrots and lightly mix together. Scatter carrots, oranges and juices around pork loin.
- Roast pork loin and carrot mixture for 30 minutes. Rotate and roast for another 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the pork loin reaches 145 degrees. Remove from oven. Place pork loin on a cutting board, reserving pan juices. Lightly cover meat with tin foil and allow to rest while preparing gravy (meat will continue to cook a few more degrees while it’s resting.)
- In a small saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, whisking continuously, until butter mixture starts to brown very slightly. Strain pan juices into butter mixture and whisk. Slowly add in ½ cup stock. Continue whisking as mixture thickens. Add in more stock if needed or until desired consistency is reached.
- Slice meat and serve with blood orange carrots and gravy.
With love from my kitchen to yours,