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  • Writer's pictureellencdonker


An easy and healthy dinner to grill all season long.

Here’s a new take on a classic: Grilled Pork Tenderloin. You may have had steak salad at a Thai restaurant and marveled at how delicious the combo of crisp lettuce, grilled steak, mint and tangy dressing is. This recipe takes all those classic elements and pairs it with the affordable, easy to find and family-friendly pork tenderloin.

The pork gets its punch from an overnight bath in a super flavorful marinade. The night before is also a great time to make the dressing, blanch the green beans and prep some of those veggies. When dinner time rolls around the next day, it all comes together super fast. And you won’t have heated up the house if it’s a hot, steamy day.

This is also the perfect opportunity to make use of your summer herb garden. I specifically did not give you measurements for the herbs here, because the more fresh herbs the better. Simply tear them up with your hands and scatter them all over the platter. Not only are they beautiful, but the three of them take this salad to the next level in flavor.

If you have little ones who are too young for salads or don’t care for them, simply separate out some blanched green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and pork. A little bowl of the dressing on the side creates a great opportunity for dipping, which always makes my toddler more apt to trying things. If peanut butter is a no-go in your house, tahini or almond butter are great alternatives.

Olivia Mack McCool is a recipe developer, cookbook author, food stylist and local mom who lives in Maplewood. For more of her work and recipes, check out her website and follow along on Instagram @oliviamackmccool.


Serves 4

Pork Marinade:

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons fish sauce

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon neutral oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 garlic clove, grated on a microplane

1 teaspoon sriracha sauce

1 whole pork tenderloin (about 1 lb.)


2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

½ cup neutral oil

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon maple syrup or brown sugar (optional if you’re using unsweetened peanut butter)


1 pound green beans, trimmed

1 head of romaine, roughly chopped

2 carrots, shredded (or 1 heaping cup of pre-shredded)

¼ of a large red onion, thinly sliced

½ an English cucumber, thinly sliced

1 heaping cup of cherry tomatoes, halved

Cilantro leaves, chopped

Basil leaves, torn

Mint leaves, torn


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, oil, salt, garlic, and sriracha. Add in the pork and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 and up to 24 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, fish sauce and vinegar until smooth. Add in the oil, lime juice and maple syrup and whisk until very smooth. If the dressing is too thick, simply add water one tablespoon at a time. Alternatively, you could do this in a blender. The dressing can be made 1-2 days ahead.

  3. Heat a grill to medium high. Place the tenderloin over direct heat. Cover and grill, flipping the tenderloin every few minutes until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees, about 18 to 20 minutes. If at any point the pork starts to char too much, move to indirect heat and continue cooking. Remove the tenderloin from the grill to a clean cutting board and cover with aluminum foil. Rest for 10 minutes. During this time the meat will continue to cook.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and set a bowl of ice water nearby. Drop the green beans into the boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove the beans and immediately immerse in the ice water. Drain and place on paper towels to dry.

  5. Arrange the lettuce, green beans, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and sliced onion on a large platter. Slice the pork tenderloin into about 1-inch slices and add to the platter. Scatter the herbs all over and serve with the dressing.

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