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Roasted Garlic & Herb Pork Loin Caprese Panini
As a father of 3 teens, the start of the school year is always a time when it feels like there are just not enough hours in the day to do everything that needs doing. It’s a time of year where I really appreciate simple recipes that are big on flavor and small on prep time, and that is precisely the inspiration behind the Roasted Garlic & Herb Pork Loin Caprese Panini. It’s a recipe that’s quick thanks to the use of Smithfied® Marinated Fresh Pork and the convenience of Walmart (I pass one on the way home from school pickup). This is a recipe that doesn’t use a ton of ingredients… instead, each ingredient is put on center stage.
A Quick Stop at Walmart
So after picking up the kids today I made a quick stop at Walmart…and it really was quick. With an idea for dinner in mind, I headed in and picked up my supplies. Arugula, roma tomatoes, basil, and lemons were of course found in the produce isle. Right next door to produce in my store is the bakery, so a bag of fresh cooked sub rolls were tossed into the cart.
The last two stops of my quick dinner shopping trip were the meat and dairy sections of the store. In the meat case, I found the Smithfield® Roasted Garlic & Herb Fresh Pork Loin, and on the dairy isle I found a bit of fresh mozzarella. We had the beginnings of a tasty dinner, and the whole shopping trip all in took 10 minutes. Not to shabby!
The Dinner Time Crunch (and how to make the Roasted Garlic & Herb Pork Loin Caprese Panini)
So we arrived home at 4:15. Now this is important, because my youngest has to be a Cheer practice at 6, and that is 30 minutes away. People are hungry, and she needs time to both eat and digest before practice. That means it’s cooking time! Here are the ingredients I used for the Roasted Garlic & Herb Pork Loin Caprese Panini:
- 1 Smithfield® Roasted Garlic & Herb Fresh Pork Loin
- Roma tomatoes, sliced lenthwise 1/4″ thick
- Fresh mozzarella, sliced into disks about 1/3″ thick
- Fresh basil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Sub rolls
- Salt & pepper
That’s it; not a very long ingredient list, and some of it you likely have in your pantry already. One key thing here…because there are so few ingredients, it’s important that each one is of good quality. It’s one of the reasons I like the Smithfield® Roasted Garlic & Herb Fresh Pork Loin for this dish; it is full of flavor. Make sure your tomatoes are ripe, and use a good olive oil and vinegar. These little things are what make the dish.
Alright, lets get cooking. First thing you want to do is preheat your oven to 375. Once it’s ready get that pork loin in the oven and cooking.
I put mine on a sheet tray with a rack, and I placed it in the upper third of the oven. I let it cook for about 35 minutes total. Once it came out, I let it rest for 10 minutes and sliced it up into 1/4″ pieces.
While the pork loin was cooking, I did all of my slicing of the tomatoes and cheese. I dressed the tomatoes with salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, and from there I plugged in my sandwich press to preheat to 350 degrees.
Now all we have to do is build our panini. First up on to the sub roll was the sliced roasted pork.
Next up was a layer of those awesome looking dressed roma tomatoes.
Then came the basil. Feel free to be liberal with your herb here….
On top of all that goodness we added our fresh mozzarella, and then we drizzled some of the juice from our marinated tomatoes over the cheese. Now add the top of the sub roll and into the press we go.
If you don’t own a press, no big deal. Just use a big skillet. Heat it up, add a little olive oil, and then toast your panini one side at a time; just be sure to press down on it a bit. I cooked the panini in the press for about 5 minutes.
And there you have it! Eat dinner and enjoy. I served ours with a little baby arugula on the side. The greens were dressed with a squeeze of fresh lemon, a splash of extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch or two of salt and pepper.
Win a Trip to Wine Country
If you are feeling inspired and want to create your own quick dish using Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork, you could win a trip! Smithfield® and Gallo® have a sweepstakes going right now where you can win a 3-night / 4-day trip for 2 to Wine Country in Napa Valley, CA. How do you enter you ask? Simple! Head over to the Smithfield® Real Flavor Real Fast page and submit your tips for making dinner in 30 minutes or less using Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork. That’s it!