From the Your Nuts, New Mexico article in the November 2016 issue.



New Mexico chefs have devised various ways to bring the piñon nut’s mellow flavor into main dishes, sides, and desserts. We asked a few for recipes that could elevate a Thanksgiving feast. If New Mexico piñons aren’t available, you can substitute other varieties, which are generally available at grocery stores already shelled.



Piñon-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Piñon-Basil Pesto

Recipe courtesy of Sllin Cruz of Geronimo restaurant in Santa Fe.

Serves 2




  • 7 ounces pork tenderloin

  • 2 cups toasted piñon nuts

  • 1/4 cup Japanese panko bread crumbs

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 ounces fresh basil leaves

  • 1 ounce spinach

  • 2 parsley leaves

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil




  1. To make the pesto: Blend 1 cup of toasted piñon nuts, basil, spinach, parsley, garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese, and extra virgin olive oil in a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the tenderloin and rub the mustard onto its surface.

  3. Blend 1 cup of the piñon nuts and the panko crumbs in a food processor. Cover tenderloin with the crust mixture.

  4. Heat a sauté pan and sear tenderloin with 1 tablespoon of butter until browned. Put in oven at 350° for 12 minutes.

  5. Remove from oven and allow meat to rest for 5 minutes. Cut into equal portions and serve with pesto.