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Butterflied Pork Tenderloin with Charred Tomato Salsa

Charring tomatoes over high heat adds a smokiness that accents their sweet and tangy flavours, and softens them just enough to release the juices. Choose firmer, meatier tomatoes that will hold their texture when grilled. Look for pink-yellow Tigerella (a.k.a., Mr. Stripey); firm black varieties such as Southern Nights, Black Zebra or Black Prince; or a red type, like Trophy, San Marzano, Oxheart or Manitoba. The salsa can be made earlier in the day, but keep it at room temperature to preserve the flavour of the tomatoes.


8 small firm ripe tomatoes (each about 2 inches/5 cm)
1 poblano, hot banana or jalapeño pepper, halved lengthwise
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 cup (250 mL) diced seeded English cucumber
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lime juice
½ tsp (2 mL) salt (or to taste)

2 pork tenderloins, each about 12 oz (375 g)
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh lime juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small avocado
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped cilantro


  1. For the Charred Tomato Salsa, preheat grill to high. Cut each tomato in half crosswise. Brush tomatoes and poblano pepper with oil. Place tomatoes cut-side down on grill and cook until well-browned, about 5 minutes. Turn and grill just until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, grill pepper, turning once, until well-browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer tomatoes and pepper to a bowl and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  2. Chop grilled pepper and tomatoes, reserving juices and discarding cores, and return to bowl. Add cucumber, lime juice and salt, and toss to combine. Set aside.
  3. For pork, reduce grill to medium-high.
  4. Cut each pork tenderloin in half lengthwise, almost but not all the way through, to butterfly. Cover with plastic wrap and lightly pound the thicker end to even out the thickness. Combine lime juice and oil in a shallow dish and add pork, turning to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Grill pork, turning once, for 3 to 4 minutes per side or just until pork has a tinge of pink in the centre. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. To serve, pit, peel and dice avocado and add to salsa along with cilantro, tossing gently to combine. Check seasoning. Slice pork thinly on an angle and serve topped with salsa.

Serves 4 to 6


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