In season, fresh berries are a wonderful thing. But they're also very perishable. Frozen berries are great year-round, and I can use a few or a lot and not worry about having the rest go bad before I get to them.
Raspberries are actually one of my favorite berries, but I'm sort of a weirdo since I like them better cooked, juiced, macerated or otherwise manipulated than I like them fresh and raw. Yep, I'm odd.
I decided to use the berries two ways - or three, if we want to count the garnish.
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin over Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
For the raspberry vinaigrette:
Frozen Oregon raspberries, to fill small jar
Cider vinegar, as needed
Salt, as needed
For the pork:
1 cup frozen Oregon raspberries
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and finely diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 pork tenderloins
To make the raspberry vinaigrette:
Fill a small jar with frozen raspberries and add cider vinegar to fill. You can leave this at room temperature for a few hours, if you need it quickly. If you're planning ahead, refrigerate until needed - you'll have more raspberry flavor if you let it sit for a day or so.
When you're ready to make the salad dressing, combine 1 part vinegar with 2-3 parts olive oil, to taste. For example, 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 2 or three tablespoons olive oil. Add a pinch of salt, to taste, and whisk to emulsify. You can also combine the oil and vinegar in a small jar and shake it. Taste and add more salt, if needed. If you like a sweeter dressing, add sugar or honey to taste.
Serve this over fresh salad greens. Garnish with some thawed frozen berries, if desired.
To make the pork:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and have a baking sheet standing by.
Put the berries, along with about 1/4 cup of water, in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-low heat, stirring as needed, until the berries have fallen apart. Pass the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Set the sauce aside.
Put the butter in a saute pan and heat on medium until melted. Add the onion, apple, and salt. Cook, stirring as needed, until the onions are softened and translucent. Add the raspberry sauce, and stir to combine. Cook until the mixture is jammy rather than saucy. Add the thyme and give it one more stir.
If the tenderloins have any silverskin, remove it, then butterfly the meat and pound it flat. The thinner the meat is, the more of a spiral you'll have with the filling. You don't want to pound so thin that the meat will tear and shred, though.
Spread half of the filling on each tenderloin and roll each one up, jellyroll-style. You can fasten the seam with toothpicks, tie the rolls with kitchen twine at intervals, or just very carefully lift the rolls and place them on a baking sheet.
Roast the tenderloins at 375 degrees, until done to your likeness. I prefer tenderloins at 140 degrees, which takes about 30 minutes.
Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with salad greens drizzled with the raspberry vinaigrette. Garnish with a few berries, if desired.
Thanks to the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission for sponsoring this post! Oregon brands of frozen berries include Stahlbush Island Farms, Scenic Fruit, Columbia Fruit, and Willamette Valley Fruit Company.