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Agrodolce Pork Tenderloin, Farro + Kale

Active Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
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Why we love it:

Agrodolce literally means sour and sweet in Italian. This dish is all about the sauce! It’s easy to double up and store in the fridge. It tastes great on any meat or vegetable and since it’s so potent and interesting, anything underneath can be quite simply cooked. I wouldn’t blame you for trying it on eggs, a turkey sandwich, or even…vanilla ice cream.


  • 1 cup Farro (usually says semi-pearled)
  • 212 cups Water
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 13 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons White Sugar (or honey)
  • 14 cup Golden Raisins
  • 1 teaspoon Unsalted Butter
  • 114 pounds Pork Tenderloin (1 piece, size can vary)
  • 14 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 bunch Green Kale

Cooking Instructions

  • 2. FARRO

    Combine farro, water and ½ teaspoon of salt in a medium pot. Set it over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir it well and reduce to a lower heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cover partially and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If during this time the water looks like it will recede below the top level of the farro, put the lid on all the way.


    Slice the red onion into thin strips, make them as thin as you can. Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté onions until golden brown and crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in vinegar, sugar, raisins, and ½ teaspoon salt and boil until sauce is reduced and syrupy, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter.

  • 4. PORK

    While the sauce is reducing, cook the pork. Trim off any excess fat from the tenderloin. Season with about ½ teaspoon salt and the pepper rubbed all over.

    Heat a large oven safe skillet or pan over medium high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil to coat the pan. When it’s hot, place the pork in the center. Once it touches the pan, don’t try to move it or the meat will tear! Cook on the first side for 4-6 minutes, turning down the heat a bit if needed. Then, rotate to the next side and cook for 5 minutes. Rotate to the third side and cook for 5 minutes longer, then transfer the pan into the oven. Cook until the tenderloin is medium - it should feel firm to the touch and there won’t be any bright pink/raw spots visible on the edges. If using a thermometer, the temperature should be about 155 degrees.

    Remove and let the pork rest on a cutting board, return the pan to the stovetop.

  • 5. KALE

    While the pork is cooking, wash the kale and shake it dry. Remove the large stems with your hands and chop them into thin rounds. Tear or chop the leaves.

    Once the pork is done, return the pan to the stovetop over medium heat and add the remaining olive oil (just enough to coat the pan). Add the kale stems and sauté 1 minute. Add the kale leaves and a pinch of salt. Toss with tongs and cook until wilted. Near the very end of cooking, dip a spoon into the simmering agrodolce sauce and add ¼ teaspoon or so to the kale.

  • 6. SERVING

    Slice the pork tenderloin into thick slices. Plate the farro and kale, top with pork. Spoon the agrodolce sauce over top to taste. Leftover sauce will keep for a month in a jar in the fridge.

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    omit butter
  • PORK:
    chicken breast or steak works well, cook accordingly
    red wine vinegar is nice too, but use a high quality one
  • SUGAR:
    you can use honey or maple syrup if preferred. You can reduce the quantity a bit if needed
    regular brown raisins, currants, or dried cranberries
    serve the sauce on the side for dipping and if they won’t eat kale, roast a vegetable they like alongside. Plain farro could be an easy new food to try
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