Pork Tenderloin with Warm Grilled Tomato Salsa

Some people say that its hard pressed to find a meat leaner than chicken breast, and thankfully they are wrong. Dinners at our house would be as boring as the fourth hour of a chess game if this was true.

The meat that might surpass you as being just as lean as chicken breast is pork tenderloin. No, silly, i didn’t say pork belly or bacon, but the tenderloin, prized for it’s leanness and versatility. For you steak-lovers, it’s like the filet mignon of the pig, except ten times cheaper than it’s cow counterpart.

Buy an entire tenderloin, unwrap it, season with salt and pepper, throw it in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until center reaches 150F (or blush pink.) While the pork is cooking, make this grilled tomato salsa from celeb chefΒ  Marcus Samuelsson’s New American Table cookbook. Dinner’s done, totally healthy, checkmate.

Grilling the tomato for the “salsa” is genius – this warm sauce can be used for so many different applications, grilled chicken, pan-fried tofu, tossed in a salad, over fish, pan-fried pork chops, well – you get the point. You can do this on your outdoor grill or inside on a grill pan, like any of these (which is what we did for this recipe)

I’m a lucky gal, especially in this photo with Top Chef Winner Hosea Rosenberg!

We get to work together along with nutrition goddess Mitzi Dulan and Food Network’s $10 dollar dinners Melissa d’Arabian on the consumer advisory panel for the pork board (who represents both small and large farmers). We braved the Iowan winter earlier this year to meet up and eat. and drink. and eat. and drink some more.








$3,700 vs. $350 camera – which camera took which photo?

A fun little game! Same dish, 2 cameras and 2 photos. Can you tell which photo was taken from the point and shoot camera?





Okay now on to the recipe!



Pork Tenderloin with Warm Grilled Tomato Salsa

Servings: Serves 4 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes

One more note about the pork tenderloin. Take a look at the package before salting. Some tenderloin is packaged in a brine solution, which contains salt already. If it does, you can just go easy on seasoning. If you're running out of time and can't wait the 20 minutes for roasting, go ahead and slice the pork tenderloin into 3/4" pieces and pan-fry until blush-pink in the middle.

The recipe for the Grilled Tomato Salsa is from Marcus Samuelsson's New American Table Cookbook.


1 pound pork tenderlion
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
3 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and ribs removed (if desired)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon mint, chopped
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 green onion, thinly sliced


For the pork
Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix mustard and honey together. Smear the honey mustard mix on the pork tenderlion covering all sides. Season with the salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes or until the center reaches about 150F. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the Grilled Tomato Salsa

For the Grilled Tomato Salsa
1. Heat a grill pan over high heat

2. Toss the tomatoes and jalapeno pepper with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. place on the grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and let cool.

3. Chopped the tomatoes and pepper. Combine with the lemon juice, vinegar, cumin, salt, pepper and the remaining olive oil in a medium bowl. Fold in the basil, mint and green onions.

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Comments 31

  1. Wei-Wei

    Grilled tomato salsa sounds amazing – I’ve always thought of salsa as a condiment/sauce served cold, but grilled sounds great too! Thanks for the recipe. πŸ™‚


  2. Murasaki Shikibu

    Unscientific thinking has probably contributed significantly to the myth about how bad pork is for human health. I’m glad you mentioned this. πŸ™‚

  3. bunkycooks

    I will be adding this recipe to my list of pork tenderloin dishes. We have been eating a lot more of it now for health reasons. I agree, thank goodness pork it an option. I was starting to grow feathers from all the chicken consumption!

  4. Cookin Canuck

    There is something about this recipe that strikes me as pure comfort food. I agree that grilling the tomatoes first is a brilliant idea. We often make pork tenderloin in our house and often cook it as simply as this. The only thing I do differently is the sear the tenderloin on the stovetop first (1 to 2 minutes per side) before popping it in the oven. That way, I will have some browned bits in the bottom of the pan if I want to make a sauce.

  5. Kim in MD

    Wow, Jaden! Congratulations on your working with Mitzi Dulan and Melissa d’Arabian on the advisory panel for the Pork board!

    I love pork tenderloin, and this grilled tomato salsa looks amazing! I am trying very hard to not use my oven this summer, so I will grill the pork tenderloin on my outdoor grill. I am sure it will be fantastic! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  6. Lana

    We cook a lot of pork tenderloin – it’s fast, it’s cheap, and it’s so versatile. This recipe has all the qualities of an after-the-work-amazing-dinner. Thanks!

  7. sarah

    This looks very tasty and easy. Since moving to Hong Kong I have been buying a lot more pork–it’s cheaper and more available by far. Ground pork has been more often seen on our table, too. And your tenderloin recipe sounds perfect for a weeknight dinner!

  8. Liz Shumpes

    After seeing that mouthwatering photo, I couldn’t help but head straight to the kitchen! I grilled up some tenderloins and made the salsa with fresh tomatoes and serrano peppers from my garden. Absolutely DELICIOUS! As a newcomer to the world of blogging and knowing nothing about photography, I find you truly an inspiration. Thank you for all you do! In my next life, I want to be like you!

  9. Chef Monk

    the filet mignon of the pig? i LOVE it!

    PIG MIGNON! ooh… i’m gonna USE that line… THANK YOU, Jaden!

    Ahahahahahahaa… sorry, just in a silly mood, we’re all excited about our july 4th spice taste test challenge… giving away free spice samples… taking on McCormick, the BIG BOYS!!!

    wish us luck! heh…

  10. Chris

    That is a great looking tenderloin, J. The fire roasted tomatoes really kick it up some. I can imagine how rich the acidic flavor would come through.

  11. Anelle

    I’m a veg, so the pork part I didn’t even notice, but the grilled tomato salsa sounds fantastic. I’m definitely going to try this when my tomatoes finally ripen!

  12. Simon Food Favourites

    i’ve only got a point and shoot camera so it’s always good to read the manual to know how to get the best out of what you have but at times i’d love a DSLR for low lighting and better depth of field photography πŸ™‚

  13. Pingback: Slim Down with These Healthy Pork Tenderloin Recipes β€” pork, knife & spoon

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