Summer Ingredients Recipe: Roasted Red Wattle Pork Loin with Fresh Corn Grits, Watermelon Salsa and Basil Oil

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Although summer is coming to an end, we have a few more weeks of summer produce to play with. Chef Mark Bodenstein, Executive Chef at Parkers Blue Ash Tavern in Cincinnati, OH offers this elegant dish that makes use of a few summer favorites: fresh corn, watermelon and basil. 

Roasted Red Wattle Pork Loin


  • Pork loin about 3lb (see below for a word about how to choose the most sustainable pork)
  • 1/8 Cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 Cup olive oil
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • cloves garlic minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Lightly chop the herbs after removal from the stems.
  2. In a bowl add all other ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  3. Salt and pepper the pork loin, rub loin with mixture from the bowl, sprinkle very well with chopped mixed herbs.
  4. Roast in oven or on grill at 350 degrees for about  20 minutes.
  5. Pull from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

Fresh Corn Grits


  • ears of fresh local corn
  • cups of chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup of local fresh or aged goat cheese
  • 1/2 yellow onion minced
  • cloves garlic minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Remove all kernels of corn from cob then process kernels in food processor until corn resembles grits.
  2. In a thick bottomed sauce pot heat a tsp of oil once hot add the onions and garlic and saute until translucent in color.
  3. Add processed kernels to thick bottomed sauce pot.
  4. Add half chicken stock to corn and garlic mixture.
  5. Simmer on low heat for 45 mins to 1 hour use additional chicken to if mixture start to get to thick or dries out.
  6. Add goat cheese at end and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Note mixture should be exactly like grits slightly loose when plated but not runny.

Watermelon Salsa


  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • tablespoons local honey
  • cups chopped watermelon (about ½ full sized watermelon)
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • tablespoons minced jalapenos (about ½ jalapeño)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • small red bell pepper diced
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Whisk the lime juice and sugar until sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients in a medium size bowl. Toss gently. Refrigerate overnight.

Basil Oil


  • 4 oz. basil leaves no stems
  • cups vegetable oil or grape seed oil

Cooking Directions

  1. In pot of hot water blanch the basil leaves for 30 seconds.
  2. Place immediately in ice-cold water.
  3. Dry basil leaves and squeeze out all excess water.
  4. Blend leaves and oil in blender until completely combined and smooth.
  5. Place in air tight container and let meld over night in the refrigerator.
  6. In the morning strain the oil through fine mesh strainer (do not push through strainer as this will cause the oil to become cloudy)

Yield: About one cup emerald-green colored oil.

A Note About Pork: While we all know that eating pork is in no way a sustainable practice, some of us are not ready to give it up completely. The good news is that there are ways to make your pork purchases more sustainable. The folks at Cochon 555 advocate for supporting local family farms, consuming heritage breed pigs and thereby supporting a more natural, sustainable food system. They point out: “It’s not just farm to table that matters–it’s what happens in between, the how and where, the history of what we eat. More and more of us want to skip the processing and get our foods straight from the pasture but we don’t always know how to get it, where to look, or what to ask for.”

Wine pairing suggestion from VineCrowd

k.furtado 2010 Rosé Santa Barbara McGinley Vineyard
McGinley Vineyard (formally known as Westerly) was the first vineyard to plant grapes in Happy Canyon back in 1995. Happy Canyon is located in the Upper Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County. The vineyard sits 37 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. It is home to one of the warmest micro climates in the Santa Ynez Valley.

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