Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin and Mexican Quinoa

Serve cumin-and-coriander pork on a bed of vibrant quinoa mixed with cilantro, lime and jalapeno.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 teaspoon coriander seed

1 teaspoon cumin seed

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 small pork tenderloin, trimmed (about 1 pound)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 small jalapeno (seeds removed for less heat)

2 tablespoons Parmesan or Cotija cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Put the quinoa in a medium saucepan filled two-thirds full of water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until the grains are tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and rinse the quinoa under cold water. Drain again, then return to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the coriander, cumin and 1 garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a mortar and pestle coarsely crush to make a rough paste (alternatively use a small food processor). Rub the pork tenderloin all over with the spice mixture.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat until very hot. Add the pork tenderloin and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the pork until just cooked through, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork registers 150 degrees F, about 15 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Combine the spinach, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to the quinoa along with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan. Slice the pork tenderloin and divide between 4 plates with the quinoa. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon cheese and a few cilantro leaves for garnish. 
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