Rosemary and Fennel Roast Pork Loin with Carrots, Squash and Swiss Chard


This week we are in the incredible Okanagan Valley wine country of beautiful British Columbia, Canada, where my wife Andi grew up, promoting “I Love Kellie Pickler” on CMT Canada. With the tremendous bounty available here this time of year on Andi‘s family farm, I thought it would be fun to bring some Canadian influence to Hillbilly Supper Club. The cuisine here reminds me in many ways of  where I grew up in the south. Many of the same ingredients are used in the cooking and getting together around the table with family and friends after a hard day’s work like we do in the south is a big tradition here too. Yesterday, we  explored the farm to see what herbs and vegetables were available to us. I hope you will enjoy making all three of these dishes that are a result the inspiration that always seems to come from a walk in the garden.

Hint from Ken

I prepared the pork in the morning and placed in the refrigerator so that it would have time to absorb the flavor of the rosemary, fennel and garlic and to get the prep work out of the way so it would be ready to go in the oven later.The carrots and the chard will heat up again nicely if you want to make them ahead of time and refrigerate. This is a great meal for the beginning of Fall! We also determined without a doubt that this goes really well with a glass (or two) of good red wine.

Rosemary and Fennel Roast Pork Loin


1 to 2 lb boneless pork loin (Ask butcher to wrap in twine netting if preferred but fine without)

2 tbsp of fennel seed (crushed)

2 tbsp of fresh chopped rosemary leaves (finely chopped)

6 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Combine 6 cloves of finely chopped garlic, 2 tbsp of crushed fennel seed, 2 tbsp of chopped rosemary leaves, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp salt

and 1 tsp pepper in a mortar and pestle then crush into a paste. (You can also cut dry ingredients very finely with a sharp knife and then add olive oil and stir if you do not have a mortar and pestle handy)

Place pork on a plate and rub herb and herb and garlic paste all over meat until completely covered.

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Remove Pork from fridge and let sit on counter for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.

Place roast in baking dish and place in preheated oven (uncovered) for 45 min.

After 45 minutes…

Remove and flip meat over and spoon pan juices over top

Insert meat thermometer if desired and return to oven for an additional 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.

Remove from oven and transfer meat from pan to platter but reserve juices in pan

Loosely cover with sheet of tin foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes


While pork rests… scrape very flavorful bits from bottom of baking dish… Add a pat of butter to pan juices and stir in until melted.


Slice pork diagonally into 1” slices, transfer to seeing platter and pour pan juices over meat

Pureed Carrots and Butternut Squash with Cream











1  lb of fresh carrots (halved)

1 cup of cubed butternut squash

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

3 cloves fresh garlic

5 tbsp heavy cream

1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 tsp nutmeg

3/4 tsp salt


Peel carrots, cut in half and set aside…

Peel butternut squash, scrape out seeds – cut into 2″ cubes – set aside 1 cup for this recipe

In a pot, combine broth, garlic cloves and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium/low heat, add carrots and squash and cover.

Cook for 20 to 25 minutes until soft.

Add heavy cream, nutmeg and butter and puree with an immersion blender or electric mixer.

Serve hot.


Top carrots and squash with chopped green onion

Swiss Chard with Stewed Tomatoes

Farm fresh veggies and a good farm dog named Jackson.

10 to 15 fresh swiss chard leaves (chopped in to 4” pieces)img_3156

2 large tomatoes (quartered)

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1 tsp of fresh lemon juice

8 oz tomato juice

1 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

In a 2 quart pot, heat olive oil and butter on medium heat until butter completely melted

Add green onions and tomatoes and stir occasionally

Heat until tomatoes break down then add tomato juice

Heat and stir 5 more minutes then add swiss chard, lemon juice and salt and pepper

Stir in with tomatoes and cook until greens are wilted and reduce heat to low stirring occasionally until ready to serve

Wadman Farms in Oliver, British Columbia

After having access to Andi and Kellie’s garden all summer and now a whole farm, I am a little spoiled on fresh produce! The grocery store trip was a quick one after gathering most of what we needed right out of the back yard. These are all simple ingredients so that you can taste the food itself for what it is. Like they say… “God don’t make no junk” and these simple gifts from the farm will taste as fancy as the city when you invite your family and friends to the table.  Just smile when they say “I don’t know how you do it”. The simplicity part can be your own little secret.

©Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2016


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