**This conversation is brought to you by California Walnuts. All opinions are my own.**
When I say MAKE THIS! I mean MAKE THIS! It is so divine and delicious and easy to make but tastes like you slaved over it for days! This California Walnut-Crusted Pork Loin with Apple Cherry Maple Reduction Recipe is a new favorite in this house! This restaurant quality meal is only made better with delicious ingredients, like California Walnuts. Yes, one ingredient can make a difference. Walnuts are a delicious and versatile ingredient that is the perfect complement to other whole foods for nutritious, tasty meals. I especially like the buttery crunch they add to this dish as a crust for the pork loin and an addition to the reduction sauce!
Enter the I Heart Walnuts recipe contest too!
Not all nuts contain omega-3s and walnuts are the only nut to contain a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the essential plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. It’s right on the California Walnuts bag! In one ounce, there are 2.5 grams of ALA, which is more than five times the amount found in any other nut. We all know that omega’3s are good for us so I love that this recipe includes over 2 cups of California Walnuts!
OK, now to this super delicious recipe. There are two parts to it. The Walnut Crusted Pork Loin and the Apple Cherry Maple Reduction sauce. One takes less than 10 minutes to do and the other takes less than 8. The time spent is the hour in the fridge and the hour and 20 minutes in the oven. So when I say this is easy… this is easy!
- 2 cups California walnuts, coarsely ground
- ¼ cup each: sage and thyme, fresh, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon clove garlic, minced
- 1 pork loin roast, 3 pounds, boneless
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup maple syrup, pure
- 2 apples, cored, thickly sliced
- 1 cup cherries, cored
- ½ cup California walnut halves
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons butter, cold, cubed
- In 13 x 9-inch baking dish, combine ground walnuts, sage, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper; set aside. Rub pork with oil; roll in walnut mixture until pork is completely covered. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Place pork on roasting rack, uncovered; cook in 350° F oven 1 hour and 20 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160° F. Transfer to platter and tent with foil; let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in skillet over medium-high heat, heat maple syrup. Add apples, cherries and walnut halves; cook 5 minutes or until apples are golden and fragrant. Add vinegar; stir gently. Add cold butter; continue stirring gently until butter has melted and sauce has thickened. Serve over sliced pork.
A few tips on this one:
– Use fresh cherries and not canned or already softened ones. Otherwise you miss the pop of flavor that makes this amazing
– I used pretty sturdy Macintosh apples, other than Red delicious, because I wanted a little crunch with the pork.
– You can use Walnut halves for the sauce but I used chopped ones. Again, I wanted easy, delicious bites of the buttery nut with every bite!
In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts offer other important components of a healthy diet, including 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber per ounce. Since I am all about using natural ingredients to create amazing meals that my whole family will love. This dish was an amazing surprise when I made it. The tenderness of the pork, the sweet tartness of the sauce and the crunch of the walnuts made it an instant family MUST HAVE!