Dec 20 11
by cara
at 10:29 PM
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Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Cilantro Pesto

Let’s take a little break from all the Christmas stuff because I’ve got a delicious new pork recipe to share with you!  Don’t worry, I’ve got quite a few more Christmas things I’m going to try to squeeze in over the next few days, but for today, it’s all about a yummy dinner, okay?

The real superstar of this dish is the Cilantro Pesto.  Don’t get me wrong, the pork medallions themselves are plenty tasty and simple enough to prepare (and I love cooking pork in medallion form!), but I could just eat this pesto by the spoonful.  It’s that good!  The Cilantro Pesto is creamy and spicy and sweet and and rich and bold all at once.  It’s a unique flavor combination that just works.  I found this recipe in The Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook (available for free at Mark’s Daily Apple), but don’t tune me out just because I started talking about all that Primal and Paleo stuff again!  My husband, who is decidedly NOT Primal (and isn’t called The Picky Apple for nothin’!), loved this meal just as much as I did.  I think you’ll enjoy it too!

Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Cilantro Pesto

recipe from The Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook


  • 2 pounds of pork tenderloin
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • Cilantro Pesto (recipe below)

Slice the tenderloin into rounds of 1-inch thickness. Mix oils and vinegar, add garlic and ginger. Marinate the pork slices in a non-reactive glass container for at least 2 hours or overnight, turning at intervals to marinate both sides of the slices.  To cook the pork, heat some coconut oil, lard, or olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Quickly sear the slices, turning once, until just cooked through. Do not crowd the pan, cook in batches as needed so they sear and don’t steam. Keep each batch warm in a warm oven or covered in foil wrap.  Make pesto (see recipe below).

To serve: Put a few slices of pork on a plate with a little bit of pesto on each slice, or serve pesto on the side.  (A little pesto goes a long way, flavor-wise.) Serve with cooked greens with sesame seeds and sliced red peppers for a nice color combo.

Cilantro Pesto


  • 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves only
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or less, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (or more, to taste)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (Picky Apple Note: You can also use peanut butter!)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup coconut milk
  • sea salt to taste

To make pesto:  Blend sauce ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth, adding coconut milk until preferred consistency is reached.

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