Spring Fever Dinner
By Karen Schulz
With all the blooming trees of spring comes an awakening of my resting winter self. I feel a little like a groundhog emerging from my dark hole with a big stretch and a yawn, ready to embrace the flurry of activity that comes with spring.
While I love the hustle and bustle of busy spring schedules, being a spectator on various sidelines, working on projects or enjoying the outdoors, I also get wicked spring fever. I am a professional. At any moment, I may abandon any given schedule to simply stop, stay where I am and continue to enjoy the company I am with, until I absolutely must go.
I am from Chappaqua and went to college in the South. Each spring, after seeing it was 72 degrees and sunny on the national weather report, my father would call in an effort to help save me from myself. He would remind me to stay focused on my studies because he knew a beautiful day, for me, was synonymous with simply hanging out and socializing.
So, whether you embrace spring as an object in motion that stays in motion, or kick back and smell the roses, both scenarios make finding time to cook dinner even more difficult to achieve. That is why I love this herbed pork tenderloin recipe with farro and arugula. This recipe takes full advantage of healthy, fresh and readily available ingredients, and requires practically no prep.
The star ingredient is farro, a hearty grain that is a great alternative to rice. It has a nutty flavor and satisfying chewy texture, which makes it perfect in salads, soups, or as a standalone side dish. What you may not know, is that farro is extremely nutritious — an excellent source of protein, fiber, magnesium, zinc, and even vitamin B. It also contains a variety of antioxidants. Finally, due to its low glycemic index, farro is digested slowly and provides a steady release of energy throughout the day, which helps keep your blood sugar up and means you feel fuller longer.
The dried cherries and arugula deliciously and nutritiously elevate this side dish. The whole meal works warm or at room temperature, making it the perfect spring dinner as it can accommodate a busy, ever-changing spring schedule.
Finally, treat yourself to an All-Clad meat thermometer, to ensure you never overcook meat again.
<<Herbed Pork Tenderloin with Lemony Farro & Arugula>>
3 T. olive oil
2 pork tenderloins (about 1½ pounds)
1 T. chopped fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt & black pepper
1 cup farro
½ bunch arugula
¼ cup dried cherries
1 T. fresh lemon juice
Heat oven to 400°F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Rub the pork with the thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Cook the pork, turning occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the pork, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 145°, 12 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, cook the farro according to the package directions. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the arugula, cherries, lemon juice, and the remaining oil, salt, and pepper.
Serve the farro topped with the sliced pork and any pan juices.