In her cookbook Dinner: Changing the Game, food writer Melissa Clark of New York Times shares her tips and tricks for simple yet satisfying and flavor-packed meals ideal for weeknight cooking and easy entertaining. One of her secrets? A larder brimming with flavor-boosting ingredients—from Moroccan harissa to Vietnamese fish sauce.
Inspired by her ability to get dinner on the table with taste and ease, we came up with our own sheet pan dinner starring our pantry MVP: wild fennel pollen from Tuscany. This magical spice adds instant depth and umami with just a sprinkle, making it perfetto for getting long-cooked flavor any night of the week.
Preheat the oven to 475°F. Place a 18 x 26-inch sheet pan in the oven while it is preheating.
In a large bowl, toss the halved potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, chopped garlic, rosemary, sage, lemon zest, fennel pollen and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside.
Make a cut lengthwise down the center of the pork tenderloin about 2/3 of the way through it. Lay the flattened pork tenderloin, fat side up, between two large sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or heavy rolling pin, pound the pork tenderloin out until it is about a 1/2-inch thick.
Remove the top piece of plastic wrap and arrange the thin slices of pancetta, overlapping slightly, in a single layer covering the surface of the pork. Recover with the piece of plastic wrap and flip the pork tenderloin so it is pancetta-side down. Spread 3/4 of the garlic/herb/fennel pollen mixture evenly over the surface of the pork.
Starting lengthwise, tightly roll the pork tenderloin and secure with toothpicks or tie with butcher’s twine. Spread the last 1/4 of the garlic/herb/fennel pollen mixture over the top of the pancetta-wrapped pork tenderloin.
Carefully remove the preheated sheet pan from the oven and place the pancetta-wrapped pork tenderloin, seam-side down, diagonally across the center of the sheet pan. Arrange your reserved halved potatoes around the pork tenderloin. Return to the oven, turning the heat down to 450°F, and roast until the pork is cooked through and the internal temperature is 140°F, about 22-27 minutes.
While the pork and potatoes are roasting, tear the kale into large bite-sized pieces into the same bowl the potatoes were in and toss with the remaining tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.
When the pork is done, remove the meat from the sheet pan and transfer it to a plate to rest. Top the roasted potatoes with the reserved torn kale and continue to roast the potatoes and kale until the greens are wilted, about 5-7 minutes.
Toss the wilted kale and roasted potatoes together and transfer to a serving platter. Slice the pork to desired thickness and arrange atop the potatoes and kale. Garnish with an extra sprinkle of fennel pollen and enjoy!