Dijon Pork Tenderloin with Quinoa Salad

A few weeks I posted a little bit more of an in-depth labour intensive version of this meal.  You can check it out here.  While it does say “easy apple compote”, it still requires chopping and cooking, which is not as easy as opening a bottle.  Now, I find nothing wrong with opening a bottle of Unsweetened Apple Sauce…. so, if you are having a lazy night, why not try this recipe.  It’s pretty much as easy as opening a bottle.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.  Pork tenderloin is my favourite cut of meat.  It’s quick cooking, tender, and delicious.  It doesn’t take more than 15 minutes from start to finish – especially if you’re comfortable with that beautiful blush (medium doneness). Because it’s tender, it doesn’t actually need a long marinading process. With this recipe, I slathered some Dijon on it, and toss it in a pan to sear.  The only thing that may need a little more time is the quinoa salad, however, make this dish when you have some leftover quinoa, and you’re golden!! It doesn’t have to be warm to be delicious.  I should know, I just had it for lunch – cold – with cold tenderloin as well, and it was on par, if not better than it was last night.

Dijon Pork Tenderloin with Quinoa Salad
Serves 4

  • 1 pork tenderloin, trimmed (ie. silver-skin removed)
  • EVOO
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard (I used smooth, but grainy would work too)
  • S&P
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa 
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup roasted soy nuts
  • 1 cup baby arugula, washed and dried
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened apple sauce (from a jar) – for each plate


Preheat oven to 400F. 

In a large cast-iron pan, heat some EVOO on medium-high heat.  While heating, remove the silver-skin from your tenderloin, season with S&P, and slather on the Dijon.  When the oil is hot, carefully sear the tenderloin on all sides, then transfer to the oven for 9 minutes. (That’s tried and tested for my oven, however, you may need a little longer or less…. if you’re just starting out, use a meat thermometer and start checking after 7 minutes – it should read 145 – 150F.  Remember there will be some carry-over cooking when it rests, so don’t go past that too much). 
While the tenderloin is in the oven, assemble your salad.  In a large bowl, toss together your quinoa, arugula, cranberries, soy nuts, and lemon juice.  Taste and season with S&P. 
Let the tenderloin rest for a couple minutes on a cutting board before you slice into it.  Be sure to cut on a diagonal in order to increase surface area, and maximize your product.  Also, it looks prettier.  I served the tenderloin on a bed of the quinoa salad, with a couple teaspoons of apple sauce – the perfect accompaniment to pork and Dijon. 

I really love using the term “blush” to describe the internal appearance of a piece of meat when it’s perfectly cooked.  There is something about the connection to beauty products that makes it truly beautiful. It truly gives me so much excitement when I slice into a cut of meat like this and it’s perfect. It’s definitely something to look forward to if you’re just starting out cooking.  

While I say this is quick and easy, it really is pretty – and could absolutely be presented at a dinner party to a table of “ooh’s” and “ah’s”.  



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