Roast Pork with Sage and Pecan Pesto

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Be careful not to overprocess the flavorful herb pesto for this dish. The finished sauce should have some texture remaining.

Yield: Serves 8


  • 2 qts. apple cider
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 T. fresh sage, chopped and divided
  • 1 4-lb. boneless pork loin roast
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Garnish: fresh sage, unshelled pecans
  • Sage and Pecan Pesto:
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, packed
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Combine cider, salt and 1/2 cup sage, stirring until salt dissolves. Place pork in plastic zipping bag; add cider mixture. Seal bag; chill 12 to 24 hours.
  2. Remove pork from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle pork with pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add pork.
  3. To make Sage and Pecan Pesto:
  4. Combine all ingredients in a food processor; process until ingredients are finely chopped. Makes 3/4 cup.

An autumnal spin on summer's basil and pine nut rendition, this pesto is delicious paired with grilled meats and is also an equally wonderful substitute for marinara sauce on a pizza topped with wild wushrooms and cubes of butternut squash or pie pumpkin.

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