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Pork Tenderloin and Spinach Salad with Pickled Peaches
Chris Lilly's Cast-Iron Pork Tenderloin and Spinach Salad with Pickled Peaches
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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(180 rated)
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This unique combination of pork tenderloin, pickled peaches, and spinach is a fresh and tasty summer meal. I find myself making extra dressing because if it's in the fridge, it's my go-to on any salad.

Technique tip: This recipe can be transferred outdoors to the charcoal grill for more flavor. The pickled peaches are wonderfully tasty charred over open flame.

Swap option: To save time, clementines or Mandarin oranges can be added directly to the salad instead of pickled peaches. Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 4 teaspoons granulated sugar instead of the peach syrup in the dressing.


  • Pickled peaches

    • 2 teaspoons pickling spices
    • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
    • 3 peaches, sliced
  • Dry rub

    • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1½ teaspoons paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
    • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • Liquid seasoning

    • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 4 teaspoons dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pork

    • 5 slices bacon
    • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • Dressing

    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 tablespoons reserved pickled peach syrup (recipe above)
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salad

    • 1/2 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices (about 1½ cups)
    • 5 ounces spinach leaves (about 6 cups)
    • 1/3 cup feta cheese
    • Pickled peaches (recipe above)


For the pickled peaches:

1. Put the pickling spices in the center of a square of cheesecloth. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth together and tie them together to form a small bag.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the orange juice, maple syrup, vinegar, sugar, and the spice pouch. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Add the peaches and simmer until they soften slightly, about 4 minutes.

3. Transfer the peaches to a serving plate and drizzle with the hot syrup. Remaining syrup can be used as a salad dressing ingredient or a pork glaze.

For the liquid seasoning:

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons water, the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, brown sugar, garlic powder and pepper. Set aside.

For the dry rub:

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, pepper, cinnamon and ginger.

For the pork:

1. Preheat the oven to 275°F. Season the pork tenderloin liberally with the dry rub.

2. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, on the stovetop, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until it is crisp and browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the seasoned pork tenderloin in the skillet and sear for about 30 seconds on each side. Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the liquid seasoning over the pork.

3. Put the skillet in the oven and cook, turning once, until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145°F in the center of its thickest portion, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let it rest. For the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, reserved peach syrup, vinegar, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the salad:

Put the skillet, with the cooking juices, on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add the red onion and cook, stirring, until softened but still slightly crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer the onions to a bowl. Rinse the skillet under running water to cool it and wipe it dry.

Fill the skillet to the top rim with spinach leaves. Top the spinach with the onions, feta, pickled peaches and bacon. Slice the tenderloin into medallions and arrange them on top of the salad. Drizzle the top with the dressing and serve in the cast iron skillet family-style.

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Pitmaster Chris Lilly shares delicious cast iron pork tenderloin recipe

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