I simply can't wait any longer to share this fabulous recipe with you. There are others in the queue, but this one is cutting in! Just try this recipe and you'll thank me for allowing such rudeness on the dance floor of my kitchen.
I love roasted meats because they taste so good and they are so easily cooked and brought to the table in high style. I bought a pork loin roast the other day not knowing exactly how I would cook it. I do that often … buy something then figure out later what I'm going to do with it! I'm rarely disappointed that I bought it.
I figured it out by perusing through my cookbooks. I found this treasure of a recipe in a book called Italian Slow and Savory by Joyce Goldstein. I decided that I love this cookbook and will be cooking more dishes from it, to be sure. The official recipe is called "Arista di maiale alla fiorentina", which being interpreted is "Roast Pork Loin as Cooked in Florence". Apparently, it's a recipe that dates as far back as 1430 according to Medici family legend, and was served to Greek dignitaries that proclaimed it "Arista!" (or excellent). It seems reasonable that any recipe that has survived nearly 600 years should at least be sampled, no?
The recipe calls for a bone-in pork loin roast, but I used a boneless one. Seemed just fine! The meat is indented with small cuts and filled with slivers of garlic and rosemary needles.
Fresh sage, garlic, and rosemary are essential as are lemon zest, lemon juice, fresh ground pepper, salt and believe it or not, CLOVES! No wonder the Greeks loved it! You might be tempted to not include the cloves, but please resist that temptation if ever you've resisted one before. Again, I'm sure you'll send your sentiments of gratitude in this year's Christmas card!
I didn't have any fresh lemons. Travesty! But I did have California Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar … so that is what I used for my acid. (Thanks to my sweet sis-in-law, Erin!) Not much, however, was lost in translation.
Pound it all in a mortar with a pestle … (this can be very therapeutic!) If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can accomplish the equivalent by using a blender or food processor.
…then rub it on the meat.
Put it in a roasting pan and in a 400°F oven. It only takes about an hour, which is plenty long enough to watch a rerun of your favorite show, roast some potatoes, open a bottle of wine, and get a salad ready.
This is definitely a recipe that will have a long-time standing in my kitchen from here-to-fore … very fresh flavor, very tender meat, very pleasant meal. Company worthy, but family deserving! Arista!