Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam

Boy, have I got a treat for you today!

This Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is delicious fresh out of the oven and topped with fresh arugula.

The name of this pizza may be a mouthful, but trust me when I say you’ll be wanting to stuff your mouth full with as much of it as possible as soon as you taste that first bite. Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam, your day has come.


Okay, I know I haven’t entertained you with my travel post all about our second honeymoon/babymoon to Kauai yet, but I promise it’s coming! And this recipe can be seen as a little sneak peak of what’s in store, because I actually got the idea from one of the restaurants we visited in a little town called Kapaa.

We stopped into The Local one afternoon after a hike to some waterfalls and some glorious beach time, ready for a refreshing drink and light snack. We had scoped out the menu online, and the place had come highly recommended to us by a few of our friends, so we definitely wanted to check it out. Among other things, “The Local Pizza” had caught my eye – I mean, this gal can’t really pass up a pizza that features brie, bacon, arugula and JAM – and I was instantly curious.

Unfortunately, since we were there around 3:00pm, we were too late for lunch and a little too early for dinner, so we only had a limited Happy Hour menu available to us to order, which meant no pizza 🙁 That’s okay, though, we made up for it with a huge basket of French fries and tasty deviled eggs with crispy chicken skin on top. Nevertheless, I snapped a photo of the pizza’s description on the menu and decided I’d just have to make my own version to try it out!

No one will be able to resist this Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam!

Man, I love it when I’m not disappointed.

The original recipe for The Local Pizza included local papaya vanilla jam, brie, bacon, arugula and the option of adding sliced jalapeños on top. I knew it would be a little tricky for me to find papaya vanilla jam at home, so I raided the pantry to see what sort of tropical fruit jam we had and came across passion fruit (or lilikoi) that we had found at our local Asian market. Another flavor that is a little more easy to come by here in the states is guava jam, which would also be a fantastic option. The issue of adding in some vanilla flavor was easily solved by stirring some vanilla bean seeds into the jam when I was ready to spread it on the pizza.

The only other changes I made to the original toppings were (a) omitting the jalapeños (I’m not a huge fan unless they’re involved in some sort of Mexican food) and (b) using goat milk brie instead of the more typical cow milk brie.

Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam straight out of the oven, before adding the fresh arugula topping.

As I do with just about all my pizzas these days, I turned to Jim Lahey’s internet-famous pizza dough recipe for my base to this tasty treat. Even though it requires an overnight rise, it is soooo easy and takes less than 10 minutes to prep. You could also use some store-bought pizza dough if you’re feeling lazy (my fave is Trader Joe’s brand) but trust me when I say Jim Lahey’s dough is totally worth the slightly more trouble (if you call mixing a quick dough together harder than getting in your car and driving down to your local supermarket, looking for parking, standing in line, etc.) Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is just a leeeetle special, so I think it’s fair to say it deserves a special crust.

Jim Lahey’s recipe asks you to break the dough up into four pieces for four smaller pizzas, but I used the entire recipe to make one big pie. This made the crust slightly thicker, so if you’re more a fan of the thin-crust stuff, you may want to break it down to two (or even the four suggested) pies.

Because there are so many delicate flavors on this pizza, I of course omitted any sort of tomato or white sauce and stuck to a simple coating of olive oil and fresh garlic before loading on the vanilla-scented jam, bacon and goat brie. After a quick 15-minute turn in the oven, your Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is ready for its “crowning moment”: a hefty sprinkling of fresh arugula, dash of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt!

A delicious slice of Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam.

After taking your first bite, you’ll definitely notice the flavor explosion – sweetness from the jam, saltiness from the bacon, an earthy creaminess from the goat brie and a fresh bite from the arugula. So many wonderful things going on! You may also just feel like this Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is transporting you to a tropical island somewhere, which isn’t a bad way to spend a Monday, am I right??

This Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is the perfect lunch or dinner for any day of the week!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

This Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is delicious fresh out of the oven and topped with fresh arugula.
Print
Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

This pizza is a flavor explosion - sweetness from the jam, saltiness from the bacon, earthiness from the goat cheese and the fresh tang of arugula!

Course: Main Course
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 batch Jim Lahey's pizza dough, already risen overnight (Link in notes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for topping
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/3 cup passion fruit (lilikoi) jam
  • Seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean
  • 5 ounces goat brie, thinly sliced into squares
  • 5 pieces cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2-3 cups arugula, for topping
  • Sea salt, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. In a large, greased pizza pan, roll out the pizza dough to the desired thickness and shape. Spread on the olive oil using a pastry brush or paper towel, then sprinkle on the minced garlic.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the jam and vanilla bean seeds. Spread the jam mixture evenly onto the pizza crust over the olive oil and garlic.

  4. Sprinkle the goat brie and bacon pieces over the jam, then place pizza in the 475 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your crust. Remove when crust is slightly golden and feels firm to the touch.

  5. Sprinkle arugula over the cooling pizza, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on some sea salt. Serve immediately.

Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam | CaliGirlCooking.com

Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts

At least I have one good reason to get up this morning!

A big bowl of in-season Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts is the perfect summer meal or side dish!

And that’s to enjoy this uber-delicious Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts for lunch. After the morning I’m having, I’m going to need it!


Right at this moment I’m sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office having just guzzled down a disgustingly sweet “Gluco-Crush” (no joke, that’s what it was called) for my gestational diabetes test. I now have a cloying after-taste in my mouth and all I can think about is all of the REAL food I’m going to eat after my hour-long wait for a blood test is done. Oh, the joys of pregnancy!

Speaking of, I know I’ve kept it mostly food here on the blog throughout my pregnancy so far, but do you have any interest in me doing some posts on my pregnancy? I always think I need to just jump in an do it but then I get worried that y’all will hate me if you’re not pregnant and I’m not posting delicious food recipes all the time. Thoughts? Requests? I’m all ears!

Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts is the perfect light summer meal.

I’m definitely thinking I’ll start to do some food prep recipe posts in the next couple of months, as I’m starting to think about having our freezer stocked full of delicious things for when the baby comes so we don’t have to worry so much about cooking and just enjoy the time with our new little one. If you have anything in particular you’d like me to make, or any suggestions of stuff YOU’VE made that was a lifesaver, I’m all ears!

Okay, but back to this Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts. I hope you all are as obsessed with fresh figs as I am, because you can bet I’ll be using them in as many recipes as possible if/when I can find them. I was able to find these ones at our Farmer’s Market (there were just TWO vendors selling them!) but our Trader Joe’s had them for a hot second a month or so ago and then when I went back they had disappeared already. I’m hoping we’re just at the start of the season and they’ll become more widely available in the next month or so, otherwise I totally missed the boat on all the fig recipes I want to make!

So, I found my fresh figs and I even bought two different varieties because I couldn’t decide which one I wanted, but feel free to use any variety you like. Aside from the figs, all of the ingredients for this salad are pretty darn #basic, and TBH I even hesitate for a hot second about posting the recipe because it so like “duh” easy. But I brought it over to a friend’s house for dinner and it received such rave reviews that I knew I just had to post it.

Serve this Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts at your next get-together and it's sure to be a huge hit!

The only other ingredients you’ll need besides fresh figs are arugula, burrata, hazelnuts, olive oil and a nice, thick balsamic vinegar (I really like the Balsamic Glaze from Trader Joe’s.) Oh, and a pinch of salt and pepper! It’s amazing how often we forego seasoning our salads with good ol’ S&P here in the US, whereas in Europe it’s a regular thing. It makes such a huge difference!

The other great thing about this recipe is there is absolutely no cooking involved. Which means it’s perfect for summer! Well, I do recommend that you toast the hazelnuts (toasting nuts adds a great dimension of flavor to any recipe) but that takes literally 5-10 minutes on the stovetop and you’re done. Nuts are also something you can batch-toast in advance and just keep on the ready in your pantry for whenever the mood for that extra pop of flavor in a recipe strikes.

I tossed together the arugula, sliced fresh figs, toasted hazelnuts and salt and pepper with a light coating of olive oil, then drizzled on the balsamic glaze and plopped that creamy, cheesy goodness that is burrata right on top. I kept the burrata whole for transporting to my friend’s house, then cut into it and let it ooze all over the individual portions as I served. I also brought along extra olive oil and balsamic just in case people wanted some extra dressing.

This fresh fig salad features toasted hazelnuts and is topped with creamy, delicious burrata cheese. The perfect summer meal!

That’s it! Pretty easy, right? The fact that it’s no-cook and showcases some of the season’s best produce makes this Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts a real winner in my book, especially for this time of year.

Grab the recipe below and remember to send me any pregnancy or meal prep post requests if you have them! Xo

A big bowl of in-season Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts is the perfect summer meal or side dish!
Print
Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

This summer-y salad features fresh figs, arugula and toasted hazelnuts, all topped with creamy burrata cheese and an easy olive oil and balsamic dressing.

Course: Main Course, Salad
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 7 ounces arugula
  • 14 ounces fresh figs, quartered (any variety)
  • 3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (more or less depending on your personal taste)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Balsamic glaze
  • 8 ounces burrata
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, fresh figs, hazelnuts and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  2. Drizzle on balsamic glaze and top with burrata. Cut into the burrata when you’re ready to serve!

Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts | CaliGirlCooking.com

Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce

Getting back to the serious stuff today!

A big platter of Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce is the perfect way to #ownyourparty this summer!
This post was created in partnership with True Aussie Beef & Lamb and Big Green Egg in exchange for free product. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Well, if you count mouthwateringly delicious Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce as serious, that is. And when I say mouthwatering, I mean MOUTHWATERING. Seriously, this stuff is so good.

It’s not every day that you get sent a cooler full of delicious #TrueAussieBeef and #TrueAussieLamb, plus a Big Green Egg and are told to throw a summer party celebrating the #GreaterOutdoors but when you do, you happily oblige.


IMPORTANT PSA: If you’ve read any of my other recent meat-centric posts, you know that I’ve partnered with True Aussie Beef and Lamb and Big Green Egg in their #GreaterOutdoors campaign to give away a Big Green Egg to one very lucky reader. Well, TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO ENTER! Be sure to keep reading until the end of this post for instructions on how to get in on this. Do it now!

Sirloin steaks cooking on the Big Green Egg, soon to be drenched in sweet and tangy Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce.

I already shared the Island Style Teriyaki Beef Sliders and Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mint Pea Pesto that I made with my #aussome beef and lamb products for a summer pool party with friends, and today it’s time to tell you all about what was surely one of the greatest hits: Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce!

Can I first tell you about the insanely huge piece of sirloin I used to make these? Ummm, I mean, we were serving a crowd of about 20 people and we STILL only used half of it. The other half is waiting contentedly in the freezer for the next chance we get to throw a party and I’m pretty excited about it.

I’m not sure I’ve told you before, but my husband is most definitely a steak man. Tri tip is one of his favorite things to grill up on the weekend and, if we go somewhere for date night that has a good steak on the menu, you can bet that’s what he’s going to order. So you can imagine how excited he was to see this gigantic piece of sirloin come out of the freezer.

Perfectly cooked sirloin steaks resting before being cut into bite-size pieces and coated in a delicious Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce.

And since he’s the expert, I asked him how HE would like the steak cooked. We needed something crowd-friendly, hence the steak bite idea, but I have to give him credit for helping me come up with the tangy, sweet and boozy Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce.

The BBQ sauce is something you’ll definitely want to make in advance, as it just gets better and better with a little time in the refrigerator for the flavors to really meld together. I made it the night before we were grilling, and it set up perfectly. It’s really not complicated, and just requires a little time on the stovetop.

The next day (or a few hours later), it’s time to grill! In order to keep the steak as moist as possible (and for ease of grilling), we cut it into four approximately one-pound pieces for cooking. Keeping the size of the steak a bit larger helps seal in all of the juices, so once you DO cut into it, each steak bite is juicy, tender and delicious.

Sirloin steaks finishing up on the grill before being cut into pieces and coated with sweet and tangy Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce.

After the steak is done, let it rest as long as possible and simply cut it into bites a little bit before you’re ready to serve. Toss the bites in a tad more of the BBQ sauce, and serve the rest of the sauce on the side for extra dipping.

Finally, add some toothpicks to your serving platter for hungry fingers to serve themselves. I’m pretty certain your Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce are going to be the hit of the party!

Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce are the perfect addition to a summer spread.

Okay, now for the equally important stuff: how to win a Big Green Egg! Simply click on this link before tomorrow and enter in your information. Then wait and see if you’ve won! Seriously though, we have been so happy with our Big Green Egg cooking experience and have been cooking on it more often than you can imagine. So many endless outdoor cooking possibilities!

Here’s to kicking off another summer week, hopefully with some delicious steak bites in the mix!

A big platter of Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce is the perfect way to #ownyourparty this summer!
Print
Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Tender, mouthwatering steak bites are drenched in a sweet and tangy bourbon rosemary BBQ sauce. The perfect addition to a summer entertaining spread!

Course: Main Course
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the BBQ sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 of an onion, finely minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of pepper
For the steak:
  • 4 pounds sirloin steak, cut into 1 pound pieces
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. The night (or a few hours) before you’ll be cooking the steak, make the BBQ sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook until all ingredients come together and sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. 

  2. Remove sauce from heat, let cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. When you’re ready to cook the steak, you’ll first need to prep your Big Green Egg (or other outdoor cooking appliance.) Bring the Egg to a temperature of approximately 500 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  4. Season each steak with salt and pepper and brush with a light coating of the prepared BBQ sauce. Reserve the rest of the sauce for later.

  5. Once grill is preheated, add the steaks, searing on all sides. 

  6. After searing the steaks, bring the grill’s temperature down to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit to finish cooking. Move the steaks to the outer perimeter of the grill to receive indirect heat, and cook until they reach an internal temperature of 130 degrees (for medium-rare).

  7. Let steaks sit and rest (to finish cooking and bring them to the perfect temperature) for another 10 minutes or so. If you want your steak more well-done, simply bring it to a slightly higher temperature before removing to rest. 

  8. Just before you’re ready to serve, cut the steaks into bite-size pieces and add another light coating of the BBQ sauce. Toss to combine. 

  9. Serve any remaining BBQ sauce in a bowl on the side for dipping and be sure to include toothpicks!

Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce | CaliGirlCooking.com

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mint Pea Pesto

I sure hope you’re ready for more MEAT!

A beautiful Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb served with Fresh Mint Pea Pesto.
This post was created in partnership with True Aussie Beef & Lamb and Big Green Egg in exchange for free product. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Because this Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mint Pea Pesto is one for the books and I need you to make it ASAP.

First, important question: How do you feel about lamb? Do you love it? Hate it? Haven’t tried it? I never knew until recently how uncommon lamb as a meat option is in the greater United States. I mean, I grew up in California, with a fairly progressive upbringing food-wise, but I was recently pretty surprised when I was at a luncheon (not in California) that served lamb as the main dish and soooo many people at my table had either never tried it or just not grown up eating it.


Man, have they all been missing out! I was already a big fan of lamb before my partnership with True Aussie Beef & Lamb, but I have to say I became even more so (and converted a few non-lamb eaters) after I tasted the product I was sent. Seriously, guys, #TrueAussieLamb is LEGIT and I’ve made the most delicious Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mint Pea Pesto to showcase it.

Two beautiful lamb lollipops of Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mint Pea Pesto.

This is my second post partnering with True Aussie Beef & Lamb and our friends at Big Green Egg to help you #ownyourparty this summer, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. You can see my ranting and raving about BOTH companies’ amazing products in the first recipe I created for this partnership, Island Style Teriyaki Beef Sliders (which you should also be making ASAP.)

But really, I kept waiting for one of the meats that True Aussie Beef & Lamb sent me to be #average, and I’m happy to report that was most definitely never the case. Every time we bit into a new recipe I created featuring their beef or lamb, we were groaning with delight about how tender and decadently flavorful the meat was. If you haven’t tried their stuff yet, you’re definitely missing out.

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb is prepped and ready to go on the Big Green Egg!

Okay, and the Big Green Egg. I’m giving that a much deserved shout-out as well because it is so. much. fun. To be honest, I know the basics of grilling, but the hubs takes care of most of the outdoor cooking in our household. When our Big Green Egg was delivered, I was determined to learn how to use it so I could take all the credit for these tasty dishes I was creating. I’m happy to say that, aside from pouring the charcoal in and lighting the fire (because, yo, preggo lady over here) I was able to learn exactly what needed to let these cuts of meat shine in all their glory.

So let’s get into it and talk about this Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mint Pea Pesto, shall we? As I mentioned before, I was raised eating a fair amount of lamb, and it’s one of my favorite meats to cook. I’d put it in the red meat category, but it tends to have a much more grassy, herbal flavor than your AVERAGE beef (important to note that, because #TrueAussieBeef is definitely not average.) Because of this, you really don’t need to do much to it when cooking, however there are a few ingredients that pair fabulously with it.

Can you guess what those might be? You got it! Fresh herbs (especially rosemary,) mint and peas!!

Mint Pea Pesto is the perfect, easy accompaniment to Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb.

Here’s the 4-1-1 for this recipe that involves allll of these perfect flavors:

We start out by massaging our rack of lamb with a simple yet tasty blend of fresh garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil to make it all stick. Throw that beautiful piece of herb crusted lamb on your Big Green Egg (yes, one could be yours, see below!) and give it a nice sear. It doesn’t take much, our rack of lamb is delicate and tastes so much better when there is still a little bit of pink in the center of the meat.

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb is thrown into the fire of the Big Green Egg for a delicious sear.

Meanwhile (or even before you get to cooking the lamb,) you’ll want to whip up the creamy, fresh Mint Pea Pesto that will grace the top of each “lamb pop” you serve. It’s a fairly typical pesto, but with equal parts fresh mint and peas as the base rather than basil. This gives the lamb a truly Mediterranean feel, and adds a beautiful pop of bright green color to the plate. It’s also important to note that you’ll likely have some leftover pesto after the lamb is served, so be sure to have some crusty bread on hand for dipping or save it for a last-minute pasta dinner later in the week.

Lollipops of Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb are graced with a hearty dollop of Mint Pea Pesto.

That’s it for the recipe, now let me tell you about this giveaway. If you didn’t catch it in last week’s post, True Aussie Beef & Lamb and Big Green Egg are hosting a “Greater Outdoors” promotion where they are gifting one lucky reader their very own Big Green Egg! Seriously, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. The Egg is amazzzzing!! Simply click here to enter before the giveaway ends on August 1.

The Big Green Egg is the perfect outdoor cooking accessory to #ownyourparty. And you can win one for yourself!

We’re still babymooning in Kauai, but heading back tomorrow and then taking a quick trip to Napa before we head home to Santa Barbara, so thank you for your patience and understanding with my slow-down of content I have been posting so I can really enjoy my trip. I look forward to getting back into a regular schedule with you all when we get back! Xx

Lollipops of Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb are graced with a hearty dollop of Mint Pea Pesto.
Print
Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mint Pea Pesto
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

A beautiful piece of lamb is coated with a fresh rosemary-garlic mixture and topped with a delicious mint pea pesto. 

Course: Main Course
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the lamb:
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 5 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-5 pounds rack of lamb
For the pesto:
  • 1 cup fresh mint
  • 1 cup fresh cooked peas
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat your grill to high heat. If using the Big Green Egg, you’ll want it to read a temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  2. Next, prepare the herb rub for the rack of lamb. Combine garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl, then rub onto both sides of the lamb rack. 

  3. Once the grill or Big Green Egg is heated properly, add the lamb and cook for 7-8 minutes each side, or until internal temperature reaches between 120 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit (for medium-rare.) Remove the lamb and let rest in a warm place for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving. 

  4. You can make the Mint Pea Pesto prior to grilling the lamb or while the lamb is resting. Combine all pesto ingredients except the olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients come together to form a rough spread, then slowly stream in the olive oil. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste. 

  5. Once lamb has rested and pesto is prepared, cut the lamb into chops and top each top with a heavy dollop of pesto. Reserve extra pesto for crusty bread or save for a future quick and easy pasta dinner!

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mint Pea Pesto | CaliGirlCooking.com

Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions

Today’s post comes with allll the mixed emotions.

An overhead shot of delicious Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions.

There are happy memories, there are sad moments, all of which I will get more into in a moment but, for now, let’s just look at this Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions as a nostalgic meal best shared with those you love. Because life is all too fleeting, and you need to grasp those moments when you have them.


If you read my Travel Diaries: Tuscany post, you already know that this past April the hubs and I went with both of our parents and my aunt to visit our dear friends Sergio and Stefano at their beautiful Tuscan villa. My aunt and I had been there before, but our parents had yet to experience their over-the-top hospitality and beautiful grounds.

One of the biggest regrets I had on that first trip with my aunt was that we spent every day out and about exploring, and never had the chance to stay at the Villa for a day and take a cooking class, which Sergio and Stefano specialized in. I knew that when we went back to visit this was going to be a MUST. Who doesn’t want to learn what goes into true Italian cooking?

This Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions is the perfect centerpiece to a meal with good friends and loved ones.

So we spent one day on our last trip in the kitchen, learning all about how to make the fluffiest homemade gnocchi, the beefiest Bolognese and the richest tiramisu. I seriously don’t know how we did it all in the course of half of a day. But Sergio and Stefano had it down to a science, and boy did they make it all look so easy. They’d been teaching classes together for years, even traveling to the U.S. to do so, and it was oh-so-apparent in the way they took us through all of the recipes like a well-oiled machine.

We got some sad news a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, Sergio had lost a long struggle he had been fighting over some health issues the last couple of years. As would be expected, we were all deeply saddened by the news. At the same time, I feel so grateful that we were able to make the trip and spend so much time with him when we did. Sergio was such a gem: humble, kind, selfless and one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. He and Stefano had taken our crew by the hand during our trip, being the most selfless hosts while also escorting us on all of our excursions, serving as our own personal tour guides. They truly made us feel like family.

The hubby and I with our gracious hosts, Sergio and Stefano, at Villa Fabbroni in April of 2017.

Sergio was a true master in the kitchen, shown here making the stuffed pork tenderloin that inspired this very recipe!

Juicy slices of Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions.

As I often do when struggling with difficult emotions, I decided the best way to both express my sympathy and honor Sergio’s memory would be through cooking. This Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions is my own personal take on one of the (many) recipes we learned to make during their cooking class and, I have to say, I think Sergio would be proud.

It’s actually a lot more simple than it looks (or sounds,) yet is an elegant dish to serve a dinner table full of guests you care about. The version we made at the villa was filled with apples and Parmigiano, but for this version I decided to sub in one of my favorite combos: fresh pears and gruyere.

The pork tenderloin is already beautifully decadent with the filling, but becomes even more so with the light jacket of prosciutto that’s wrapped around it just before cooking.

Slices of fresh prosciutto are wrapped around this Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin before cooking.

It’s cooked completely on the stove top, but with very little hands-on work. A quick flip of the tenderloin about halfway through cooking is all you’ll need. We leave the oven open for roasting the cippolini onions, which are the perfect contrast to the Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with their sweet yet tangy glaze.

Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions is the perfect main event for any family dinner.

So here’s to all those we’ve loved and lost too soon, and all of the recipes we have to share the memories. Cheers to you Sergio, che tu possa riposare in pace.

This Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions is the perfect centerpiece to a meal with good friends and loved ones.
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Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Pork tenderloin makes the perfect dinner centerpiece when stuffed with pears and Gruyere and wrapped in crispy prosciutto.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 5 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the pork tenderloin:
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin (or sirloin,) sliced in half and opened like a book
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pear, peeled and sliced
  • 3 1/2 ounces shaved Gruyere
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 2 cups chicken broth
For the cippolini onions:
  • 14 ounces peeled cippolini onions
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Begin by pounding the pork tenderloin to a ½-inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then layer on the pear and Gruyere.

  2. Lay out the slices of prosciutto on a piece of plastic wrap so that they mimic the shape that the tenderloin has taken. For mine, I made two columns of three slices of prosciutto each, right up next to each other. Place the pork on top of the prosciutto.

  3. Using the plastic wrap to hold everything together, first roll up one side of the tenderloin, then the other, having the two ends of the pork meet at the top, with the prosciutto extending over that seam just a bit. 

  4. Using a piece of butcher’s twine, make loops down the length of the tenderloin to hold everything together. I just kind of made up my method, but use whatever works best for you while losing as little of the filling as possible.

  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for the onions.

  6. Place a large, deep saute pan or Dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat and melt the butter in it. Once the butter is melted and the pan is nice and hot, add the pork and brown it on all sides (about 2 minutes each side.)

  7. Once the pork is browned, pour in the sherry and let the alcohol evaporate off a bit, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth.

  8. Cover the pot or pan and cook for about 15 minutes. 

  9. While the meat is cooking, prep the onions. In an 8-by-8-inch baking dish, spread out the onions in a thin layer. Cut the butter into tablespoons and drop the tablespoons evenly over the onions, followed by the sugar, white vinegar, salt and pepper. Place in the preheated 350 degree oven and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown and can be pierced easily with a fork.

  10. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and pour off the liquid until only about ½ cup remains. Flip the pork over and replace the lid. Cook the pork for another 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

  11. Transfer the pork to a serving dish and surround it with the cooked cippolini onions. Garnish with whatever fresh herbs you may have on hand!

Pear and Gruyere Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cippolini Onions | CaliGirlCooking.com