Pork Tenderloin with Figs and Olives

If the dried figs are very dry, plump them first by soaking them in water for several hours.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Marinating time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 1 teaspoon caper juice
  • 3/4 cup California green ripe olives, halved
  • 6 dried figs, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar

Method

1 Make the marinade: Pour the red wine vinegar into a medium bowl and stir in the sugar and salt until dissolved.

Add the minced garlic, oregano, pepper, capers, caper juice, figs, California green ripe olives, and bay leaves, and stir to combine.

Stir in the olive oil.

2 Prep and marinate the tenderloin: Using a very sharp knife, carefully cut away and discard any tough silver skin on the outside of the tenderloin. Cut the tenderloin in half crosswise.

Place the two tenderloin halves into a freezer bag or a bowl. Pour the marinade over the tenderloin halves and coat well.

Chill for 2 to 24 hours (the longer the better).

3 Sear the tenderloin: Remove the tenderloin halves from the marinade, wiping off any excess, reserving the marinade.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan on high heat. Pat dry the tenderloin halves with a paper towel and place in hot pan. Sear on all sides until nicely browned. Remove from pan and place in a baking dish.

4 Preheat oven to 350°F.

5 Deglaze pan and heat marinade: Pour half a cup of white wine into the hot skillet and scrape up any browned bits with a spatula.

Add the marinade to the pan with the wine and let come to a full boil.

6 Bake: Pour the marinade over the tenderloin in the baking dish and arrange on all sides of the tenderloin.

Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp brown sugar.

Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the tenderloin is 135° to 140°F. (The internal temp will continue to rise while the pork rests in the next step.)

7 Let rest: Transfer the tenderloin halves from the dish to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes.

8 Slice and serve: Slice into 1/4-inch thick rounds (a bread knife works well for this). Serve with figs, olives, and juices from the baking dish. Terrific with couscous.

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Comments

  • Linda Grimes

    This is really delicious and also presents well. I asked my husband to make it for me for Mother’s Day! Will definitely be making this again. And, you’re right, it was so easy. We love pork tenderloin in our kitchen…adapts to so many different methods of cooking/grilling.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Linda, what a kind husband! I’m so glad you liked it.

  • Miguel

    We made this for lunch today. Just amazing.!!! The salty olives and capers mixed with the sweet figs and brown sugar just make all the flavors to rise without overpowering each other. I rubbed the pork with some cumin, paprika and Ras Al hangout looking for some Turkish twist. Thanks for sharing (and as recommended, with a simple couscous, out of this world) !!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Miguel, I’m so glad you liked it! Great idea to bump up the rub with those spices.

  • Alida @My Little Italian Kitchen

    I am really tempted by this. I love cooking meat and fish with olives as they add so much flavour. Fab with the figs too!

  • Irvin

    I loved this! So much flavor from such a simple recipe and dish. I can’t wait to make it at home!

  • Sara @ Last Night's Feast

    I love the flavor combination in here! Fig and olive are such a great complement to each other. Can’t wait to try this =)

  • Mary Liotta

    is there another name for California green ripe olives? I’m a cook from NJ.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Mary, California green ripe olives are canned olives that are grown in California. Look to your local grocery store and look for the following canned olive brands: Early California, Lindsay, and Pearls. Avoid cans that say “California style”, they’re lower quality.

      • Mary

        I made this last night. I ended up marinating for 2 days in refrigerator and it was very tender and flavorful!. Used chicken broth instead of wine for deglazing. My husband loved the figs and olive combination!

  • Serena | Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch

    The flavors and presentation of this dish are still on my mind! I cannot wait to make it for my family! The combination of figs, olives, capers with the pork was incredible! Thank you so much Elise for sharing the recipe.

  • Kristy @ The Wicked Noodle

    I was blown away by this dish! Simple ingredients and preparation but the flavor is anything but. Can’t wait to enjoy it again!

  • Lori Rice

    This recipe is such a winner. The combination with the olives and fig with the pork was perfection. Beautiful, too!

  • Julia Mueller

    I’m so impressed by how flavorful this dish is! I loved the olives and figs together, plus the meal was fresh and light, yet very satisfying! It’s definitely one I could put on repeat in my home over and over. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful recipe, Elise!

  • carrian cheney

    This turned out absolutely wonderful! It’s amazing how well the olives and figs worked together but especially with the pork! Cannot wait to make this for the holiday season too as it looks so pretty too!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Carrian, sometimes I think that foods that grow in the same place often go well together. Olives and figs grow all around the Mediterranean in the same climate and soil. We don’t usually think of pairing them together but given where they grow, it makes sense! So glad you liked it!