Featuring part of the Splender of Spring
When the first spring onions arrive in the market, I cannot resist them. Bright green and the shimmering whites — they are inviting. However, spring is such a busy time. Yes, the days are longer, but so is the list of tasks: cleaning up the yard, planting annuals, starting my herb beds, and cleaning the deck furniture, you get the picture. I buy the green onions regardless, and I want to use them well in my limited cooking time. One of my go-to recipes is pork tenderloin with spring onions. This requires a minimum amount of prep and hands-on work but produces a fresh flavorful dish. As a nice bonus, since onions contain a great deal of water, a simple sauce is produced without effort.
There is a growing variety of alliums available. Onions, garlic, and varietals with attributes of the both. Feel free to add anything available. In the recipe, I have included optional garlic chives.
Notes on Ingredients
I use small 1 to 1 1/4 pound tenderloins. There are several producers of pasture-raised pork available. It is worth the effort to find one. My go-to is Pine Street Market in Avondale, Georgia.
The terms spring onions, green onions, and scallions are often considered the same. Most farmers consider them significantly different. I am not going to enter the debate, but only say it depends on what your grower has planted. I am considering a spring onion to be a sweeter, less developed onion available in the spring with greens still attached. In the South, they can be one of many different onions including even Vidalia Onion varieties.
Speaking of Vidalia Onions, if you have some well-developed Vidalias with their greens you might consider this recipe for Vidalia Onion Lemon Chicken.
I coat the tenderloin with thyme. Sure, use fresh if you want, but keeping in the spirit of this easy dish, dried thyme works just fine.
Garlic Chives may also be available in the spring. They are optional and may be added for more flavor. The accompanying photos to this recipe show garlic chives in with the green onions. They are the thinner stalks.
Notes on Technique
Salt the tenderloin at least an hour ahead. When ready to cook, dry any moisture off the pork to get a good sear. Re-salt as needed, cover with plenty of thyme and add black pepper, and sear well on each side. This means you only need to cook in the oven for about 15 minutes or until an internal temperature of 145°F is reached.
After cutting the roots off the onions, julienne cut the onions (lengthwise) giving long strips of onions. If the greens are very long, cut the greens in half.
- 1 to 1 ¼ pound pork tenderloin
- Olive oil
- Dried or Fresh Thyme
- 6-8 stalks of garlic chives, optional
- 1 or 2 long stalks of Spring Onions
- Salt and Ground black Pepper
- Approximately an hour before cooking the pork, liberally salt. Let rest.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Julienne the green onions to produce long strips. Leave the whites and greens attached, but if the greens are very long, you may want to cut them in half.
- Dry the pork well, to allow a good sear. Then add more salt as needed, coat with the thyme, and add black pepper to taste.
- In an oven-proof pan slightly bigger than the pork, add olive oil and sear all sides until nicely browned.
- Add the onions along with the pork, placing some to the side and some on top.
- Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145°F.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 243Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 227mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 37g
Calculated Nutrition is estimated.