Pork Tenderloin with Eggplant and Sicilian Salsa
Just 1 week ago I was still enjoying the sunshine and sensation of Sicily, the colors and flavors forever an inspiration. Now, 1 week later, in dull and rainy Frankfurt, I am more than ever thrilled to have those inspirations to brighten up my day- and indeed this evenings supper!
Now, you can't see it in these pictures, but the eggplant I used was just 1/4 of one of those beautiful, round-shaped, purple colored Italian ones. Not only are they pretty- but they are also pretty delicious, having a milder taste and not needing to be salted and squeezed to get rid of the bitterness... try them for yourselves and see!
So, to prepare this, I did indeed start out by cutting the eggplant into slices, which I fried in just a little olive oil for 4-5 minutes at a moderate heat, until they began to soften nicely. Once they had actually begun to soften, I added some crushed garlic, a little more oil, a pinch of salt and plenty of coarsely ground black pepper. At this point, I turned the heat up a little... and don't tell anybody- but I added a tiny pinch of sugar too! Ssshh! You're going to like it! It just slightly caramelizes and makes a subtle but scrumptious difference!
Once the slices were soft and golden brown, I set them to one side and immediately dropped my 2 slices of tenderloin into the pan and let them brown a little on each side. I added just a drop of oil, but again a little finely chopped garlic, some chopped onion, 5-6 green olives cut in half, half a stalk of celery cut into fine slices, a tablespoonful of capers and plenty of fresh thyme. I seasoned with salt, pepper, a few fennel seeds and a little cayenne and flip-fried the pork slices together with all of the good ingredients at a high heat for 5-6 minutes... until the smell was driving me almost crazy- it was SO good!
I deglazed the pan with just a splash of white wine and a little fresh olive oil, stirred everything up nicely and 1 minute later Everything was ready! I served it up on the eggplant slices, with a generous sprinkle of finely chopped parsley and a little squeeze of lemon juice- a simple yet complex-tasting meal! Just like in the old-country!