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Herb-Crusted Pork Roast with Ginger-Fig Compote

The Good News Loin, one of the leanest cuts of pork, is also one of Jan Birnbaum's favorite roasts. Here it's flavored by a tangy sauce made with ginger and figs, which are high in fiber and antioxidants.


slideshow  More Healthy Main Dishes


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 6 large garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 1 1/2-pound boneless pork loin roast
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 6 allspice berries, cracked
  • 6 black peppercorns, cracked
  • 8 dried figs, left whole
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth


  1. In a bowl, combine the garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, lavender and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add the pork and coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Bring the pork to room temperature before roasting.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the water, honey, lemon juice, ginger, allspice and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Add the figs, cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°. Scrape the garlic and herbs from the pork and set them aside. Season the pork with salt and pepper. In a medium, ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the pork and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the pork for about 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 145° for medium. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet. Add the reserved garlic and herbs and cook over low heat until the garlic is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the raisins and wine and boil over moderately high heat until the wine is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and boil for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the figs to the skillet. Simmer over moderate heat until the liquid has reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Carve the pork into 1/2-inch slices and serve with the fig compote.

Make Ahead

The figs can be refrigerated in their liquid for up to 5 days.


One Serving: 418 cal, 20 gm fat, 4.5 gm sat fat, 35 gm carb, 3.0 gm fiber

Contributed By Photo © Lucy Schaeffer Published November 2007

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