If you’re craving a juicy piece of meat from the grill but still desire a meal with a light finish, give pork tenderloin a try. Ounce for ounce, pork tenderloin is as lean as skinless chicken breast, making it a healthy choice in the meat aisle.
Peaches are in peak season all summer, timed perfectly for grilling. Peaches take on a concentrated, natural sweetness when grilled, as the cooking thickens their juices. To select peaches for grilling, opt for those that yield to gentle pressure when squeezed gently in the palm of the hand, while being free of wrinkled skins. A sweet peachy scent is another giveaway. Avoid using firm peaches, as the pits will be difficult to remove and the flesh will taste tart. Grilled peaches also pair well with chicken or can be enjoyed as a side dish for any barbecue. If you’re looking to spice things up, sprinkle on cinnamon. And for added entertainment, when someone asks you what’s for dinner, in a Southern accent drawl, “Pork ‘n’ peaches.” That’s what I do.
5-Ingredient Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peaches
2 tablespoons sliced gingerroot (or use 2 teaspoons ground)
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 (1 to 1 1/4 pound) trimmed pork tenderloin*
3 medium peaches
2 tablespoons small basil leaves
The day before, or at least 4 hours before cooking: Combine the gingerroot, 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil, like canola, in a large plastic sealable bag. Sprinkle the pork with freshly ground black pepper. Seal the pork in the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
When ready to cook: Move the pork to the counter to temper it to room temperature for more-even cooking. Preheat the grill to medium heat, about 350 to 400 degrees F.
Cut the peaches in half crosswise around the pit (not through the stem, for easier release). Holding a peach with two hands, one hand on each half, turn the halves in opposite directions to release the flesh from the pit. Release the other half by twisting the pit out of the peach, cutting tightly around the pit with a paring knife, if needed. Drizzle the peaches cut-side up with 2 teaspoons vinegar.
Drain off the marinade and sprinkle the pork with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Rub the grill grates lightly with oil, using a tightly folded paper towel and grill tongs. Place the pork on the grill, cooking until the pork has nice grill marks and releases easily from the grill, about 8 minutes.
Turn the pork to another side, repeating the last step, cooking about 5 minutes. Once more, turn to another side and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove and allow the pork to rest 5 to 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute, covering loosely with foil.
While the pork cooks, place the peaches on the grill cut-sides down and cook until they have nice grill marks, release easily from the grill and are softened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the pork and peaches with basil and additional salt and pepper, to taste.
*Cook’s Note: If one end of the pork tapers off thinly, fold an inch or two under itself and hold it in place by tying with butcher string, to ensure more even cooking.
Nutritional analysis includes using enhanced pork tenderloin, commonly sold at mainstream grocery stores. Natural pork tenderloin contains less sodium.
Per serving: Calories 170; Fat 6 g (Saturated) 1 g; Cholesterol 47 mg; Sodium 336 mg; Carbohydrate 11 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 19 g; Vitamin A 8% DV; Calcium 0% DV; Vitamin C 12% DV; Iron 6% DV
Michelle Dudash is a registered dietitian nutritionist, Cordon Bleu-certified chef consultant and the author of Clean Eating for Busy Families: Get Meals on the Table in Minutes with Simple and Satisfying Whole-Foods Recipes You and Your Kids Will Love.