It was just one of those nights, last night. A night to fall back on a tried-and-true friend to make dinner in a flash: a simple pork tenderloin. For this two-person household, it’s just the right portion size, usually around 1 pound, 2 good servings with some possible leftovers. And it’s easy to cook 2 or 3 at the time time for a larger group. Lean, quick to cook, incredibly versatile, easier to keep tender and juicy than pork chops — what’s not to love?

When totally devoid of time, I’ll just slather the tenderloin with Dijon mustard, season with salt and pepper and bake. A 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes usually does the trick, letting it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.porkarugula

Last night, I skipped the mustard, cooking the tenderloin with just salt and pepper. And took an extra 5 minutes to make what amounted to a really delicious accompaniment: arugula pesto.  How easy? this easy:

Toss 1 handful of walnuts and 1 or 2 crushed garlic cloves (per your taste) into the food processor, pulse until finely chopped but not to a paste

Add 2 or 3 handfuls of arugula with 1 handful of grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese and pulse until finely chopped

With the blades running, drizzle in olive oil until the mixture has a nice consistent texture, not too smooth, not too chunky. 1/2 cup perhaps? see how it goes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ta-da!!

It’s been a flurry of recipe testing around here lately. Last night was just “dinner for us” and my husband really appreciated that. Steamed rice, green salad, we ate pretty well with just 10 minutes of kitchen time.