My very good friend Jill (my roommate in the dorms freshman year) and her husband Ryan (who I give the highest form of friend approval to), had our friend Emily and me over for dinner at their new house last night. Using us as guinea pigs, Jill made her very first roast—a recipe for fennel-crusted pork loin with roasted potatoes and pears that she found in a recent issue of Real Simple. It was fantastic, and Jill claims it was very easy to make. Of course we also have to give props to Ryan for throwing the roast in the oven when he got home from work. Without his generous contribution, we wouldn’t have eaten until very late. I begged for the recipe, and Jill sent it over this morning. Enjoy!
Fennel-crusted pork loin with roasted potatoes and pears
Hands-on time: 15 minutes; total time: 1 ½ hours; serves 4
1 tbsp fennel seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
2 pounds boneless pork loin
2 red onions, quartered
1 pound small white potatoes, quartered
3 firm pears (such as Bartlett), cored and quartered
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Using the bottom of a heavy pan, crush the fennel seeds. In a small bowl, mix the seeds, the garlic, 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Rub the mixture over the pork, then place the pork in a large roasting pan. In a bowl, mix the onions, potatoes, pears, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and the remaining oil. Scatter around the pork and roast until cooked through, about 70 minutes (internal temperature 160 degrees F). Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with the roasted produce.