Of all French recipes, my favorite to make is the one I create while shopping at one of the many bountiful marchés in Paris. I could just page through cookbooks or look at online recipes, but I’d rather let the freshest fruits and vegetables tell me what to make.
Now that spring has finally arrived in Paris, we’re seeing beautiful ripe red fruits, like cherries, raspberries and strawberries. Last year I was introduced to the inexplicably sweet and flavorful gariguette strawberry from the south of France. This berry really blew my mind, and after buying basketfuls, I started creating recipes to feature this delectable fruit.
The delicate flavor of pork is the perfect partner for the sweet notes of warm fruit. I like to sear the strawberries in the pork pan to release the flavors even further and soften the fruit. The balsamic vinegar plays cleanup to both the strawberry and pork juices and adds a nice richness. I even loved this sauce the next day when I put it on top of a sandwich with the rosemary pork.
Pork with Balsamic Strawberry Sauce
Serves 2–3 people.
1 pound pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
6 medium-large strawberries, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Rinse and pat dry the pork. Sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper and rosemary.
3. Heat the olive oil on high in a large, heavy skillet until almost smoking. Add the tenderloin and sear on each side until the skin is golden brown—approximately 2 minutes per side.
4. Remove the pork from the pan and place on a greased baking sheet. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the insides are no longer pink. Remove from the oven and let the pork rest on a cutting board for 5–10 minutes before cutting to allow the juices to settle and the cooking to finish.
5. Add the sliced strawberries to the pork pan and quickly sear on both sides for less than a minute. The berry should brown, but not cook through and wilt. Remove berries from the pan.
6. Add the balsamic vinegar to the same pan and scrape the browned bits from the bottom.
7. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to medium low and add the sugar. Stir frequently. The sauce is ready when it has reduced by about half and has a thicker texture.
8. Slice the pork and place the seared strawberries on top, along with a drizzle of the balsamic vinegar sauce.