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Pork Loin - Herb Crusted Roast Pork Tenderloin

Updated on November 21, 2011

You know when your kid walks into the kitchen, snatches a bit of crust off the roast on the run, then stops dead in their tracks and says "that's just a...a...WOW" that you've got a winner. Granted - my kids have the sneak and snatch for bits of tasty things down pat, but when they stop to let themselves get caught, and fully admit they did it AND stop to say how good it is - well. That's why I cook.

I also shop at the warehouse stores. And the sales. And work coupons. And foster friendships with every butcher and greengrocer in town, Which means that sometimes I have quite a surplus of something, and I start looking for new and different ways to work with it. Recently it was pork loin.

I found myself the proud owner of a monster 15 pound pork loin. Normally I cut and trim these into loin chops - it can really stretch the loin like you wouldn't believe. These can be pounded into cutlets to further stretch the protein dollar. But in this case I decided to splurge (can't beat .99 a pound!) and roast a three pound piece off whole.

I also found myself in possession of about six basil plants that were given it their all in a final bid to survive our recent first frost. As often happens in my kitchen - Fate smiled upon me. I used the basil, some fresh parsley, dried thyme and rosemary to make a paste with lots of garlic and really worked that little roast like crazy. The result was heavenly - the roast perfumed with the herbs and garlic, seasoned perfectly, with a crispy garlicky salty crust that was to die for.

No sauce for this one. There was a little bit of jus in the bottom of the roasting pan I could have used, but I think with the herb crust it would have been gilding the lily. Not that I have a problem with that - but it just wasn't necessary. With cheesy scalloped potatoes, fresh French bread and a big mesclun salad - Sunday dinner was back.

The Recipe!


  • 1 3 pound boneless pork loin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme 
  • 1 Tbl fresh basil, minced (or a tsp dried) 
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 Tbl fresh minced parsley
  • 1 tsp freshly ground cracked black pepper 
  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Make a paste of the herbs, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Mince any fresh herbs, and combine minced garlic with salt and oil on a cutting board. With the edge of a knife work the herbs together until you have a coarse paste. 
  3. Put the pork loin on a roating rack. Rub the herb/garlic paste into the loin well making sure it stays fat side up. Cover all sides. 
  4. Roast pork at 450F for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F, and roast for about another hour or so, or until an internal thermometer of 150F is reached on a meat thermometer placed at the thickest part of the roast.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least ten minutes before slicing, although 20 minutes is better.


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