Fresh strawberries combine with jalapeño pepper, lime juice, onion, cumin and cilantro to make a salsa for the roasted pork recipe.

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Pork tenderloin with fresh strawberry salsa make a sweet and spicy summer dinner.

Ripe, colorful, berries make delicious desserts, but I also add them to salads or use them to make tasty, condiments for cooked meats. I’ve used strawberries for this salsa, but any type of berry can be used.

Strawberries have an interesting history. In provincial France, strawberries were once regarded as an aphrodisiac and served to newlyweds in soups.

Be careful transporting fresh strawberries home because they bruise easily. They are best stored unwashed, in a large container lined with paper towels. Wash them just before using. Strawberries taste best at room temperature.

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Roast Pork with Strawberry Salsa

Makes 2 servings

3/4 pound pork tenderloin

Olive oil spray

1 1/2-teaspoons ground cumin, divided use

1 cup ripe strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons chopped red onion

1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (about 1 tablespoon)

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


1. Preheat broiler, line a baking sheet with foil and place under broiler. Trim fat from pork. Cut it almost in half lengthwise and open like a book. Spray all sides with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon ground cumin. Remove baking sheet from broiler and place tenderloin on sheet. Broil 5 minutes. Turn and cook another 5 minutes. Test pork. A meat thermometer should read 145 degrees.

2. While pork broils, place strawberries in a medium-size bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Add onion and jalapeño pepper. Mix the remaining cumin and lime juice together and drizzle over ingredients. Add salt to taste. Toss well and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve over sliced pork. Rotini with Summer Squash

Makes 2 servings

1/4 pound spinach rotini

1/2 pound yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced (about 2 cups)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Fill a large saucepan with 3 to 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and boil 5 minutes. Add the squash and continue to boil 2 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through, but firm. Drain the pasta and vegetables, leaving a few tablespoons of cooking water on the pasta. Toss with the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks including her newest, “The Flavors of the Florida Keys” and “Mix ‘n Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes.”

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