Saltimbocca is a delicious Italian concoction that traditionally showcases veal wrapped with prosciutto and fresh sage. Over the years, cooks have taken liberties with the dish, often substituting chicken for veal.
Here, I riff on the saltimbocca theme using pork tenderloin as the star, appreciating the convenience, mild flavor and tender texture of the meat. These no-waste cuts of pork are extra lean, almost as lean as skinless chicken breasts. Buon appetito, pork style.
Pork Tenderloin Saltimbocca
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 pork tenderloins, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch-thick pieces (medallions); see cook’s notes
6 to 7 fresh sage leaves, more if leaves are small
6 to 7 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
About 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
5 cups, loosely packed, baby arugula
Cook’s notes: Be sure to buy pork tenderloins, not loin. Pork tenderloins are generally sold two to a pack that is long and slender. For this recipe you will probably use about 1 1/2 tenderloins (I cube the leftover pork tenderloin and cook it the next night in store-bought salsa verde to use in tacos).
1. Place 6 pork medallions cut side down on clean work surface. Pound with a meat mallet (or bottom of a saucepan) to make each one about 3/4-inch thick. Once pounded, medallions won’t look the same in size because tenderloins are bigger in the middle and smaller at the ends. Cover each medallion with fresh sage, one if leaves are big, two if small. Cover each with slice of prosciutto, folding it over to fit atop the pork. Cover medallions with plastic wrap, prosciutto side up; lightly pound to help ingredients stick together and further flatten meat to about 1/2-inches thick.
2. Place flour in pie pan or plate with a lip. Season with pepper. Dredge each pork bundle in seasoned flour and shake off excess. Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Place medallions in skillet, prosciutto-side down. Cook until nicely browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and brown opposite side, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth and increase heat to high. Cook until liquid reduces by two-thirds in volume. Remove medallions. Remove from heat and stir butter into reduced broth. Add arugula; stir to combine for about 30 seconds, or until it starts to slightly wilt. Serve arugula alongside saltimbocca pork medallions.
Cooking question? Contact Cathy Thomas at [email protected]