A healthy obsession with deliciousness

A healthy obsession with deliciousness

Pork Medallions with Figs, Cherry Tomatoes and Polenta

Although not advertised as such, this is a perfect Italian Secondo course. The only difficult part is finding the ripe figs. Plums or Pluots could be substituted in a pinch.

Yield:
4 servings
Category:
Pork
Cuisine:
Italian

INGREDIENTS:

  • Pork
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 fresh figs
  • 6 ounces dried figs, or another 5 fresh figs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated, divided
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, sliced thin
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (or however many will fit in your skillet)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley + 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • Toasted pine nuts, for serving
  • Polenta
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces parmesan or gorgonzola cheese, grated or crumbled
  • salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. To make the polenta. Pour the water and milk into a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is soft and thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep warm and then just before serving, stir in the gorgonzola cheese and butter, season with salt and pepper. If the polenta seems a little thick you can add a tablespoon more of butter or milk.
  2. While the polenta is cooking make the pork. In a glass measuring cup mix together the balsamic vinegar, honey and water. Blitz the dried figs in a blender or food processor. Add the blitzed figs and a clove of minced garlic to the balsamic mixture. Slice the remaining figs in half. Heat a very large skillet over high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. When the skillet is hot add the pork in a single layer (you may need to do this in 2 batches if your skillet is smaller) and allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes, so it can get a nice caramelization on it. Then toss it around and cook another 2-3 minutes, or until the pork is browned and just getting crispy on the edges. Once the pork is cooked, pour in all but 1/4 cup of the the balsamic fig mixture. Allow the sauce to simmer until it coats the pork, about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the basil and oregano. Remove the pork from the skillet to a plate.
  3. Grab a heavy cast iron skillet and place it over high heat. Coat the bottom of the skillet with olive oil. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and cook 15 seconds. Add the cherry tomatoes and toss them with garlic, season with salt and pepper. Cook the tomatoes without stirring for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes toss the tomatoes and cook another minute more or until the tomatoes are blistered. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons basil and 1 tablespoon parsley.
  4. To serve, divide the polenta among plate or bowls. Toss with balsamic pork and a few figs. Add the blistered cherry tomatoes. Garnish with fresh herbs, gorgonzola cheese and toasted pine nuts.