Whether it’s an impromptu snack or an elegant dinner, arugula is a welcome addition to everything from soups and salads to sauces and sandwiches. Its peppery flavor profile and distinctive shape make all sorts of dishes truly special.

This tasty sandwich with arugula would make a fabulous New Years Eve supper or New Years Day lunch. I’m thinking you could also substitute thin sliced steak or even portobello mushrooms to make it vegetarian.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches with Arugula

recipe by Rick Martinez for Bon Appetit


Basil-Chive Aioli

  • 1 oil-packed anchovy fillet (or squirt of anchovy paste)
  • Salt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • ¼ cup chopped basil, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Pork and Assembly

  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons salt, plus more
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1½ pounds each)
  • Vegetable oil (for grill)
  • 1 ciabatta loaf, halved lengthwise (or any good artisan bread)
  • 6 cups arugula leaves with tender stems
  • Torn basil leaves, chopped chives, and lemon wedges (for serving)

Special Equipment: A spice mill or mortar and pestle


Basil-Chive Aioli

Using the flat side of a knife, smash anchovy and ½ tsp. salt on a cutting board until a paste forms. Scrape into a medium bowl. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, ¼ cup basil, and 2 Tbsp. chives and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper; cover and chill until ready to serve.

Do Ahead: Aioli can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Pork and Assembly

  1. Grind fennel seeds and red pepper in spice mill or with mortar and pestle until coarsely ground. Transfer to a small bowl. Mix in 2 Tbsp. salt. Rub mixture all over pork and let sit, uncovered, 1 hour, or chill up to 8. Makes enough for 4 people.
  2. Prepare a grill for medium heat; thoroughly clean grates and brush with oil. Grill pork, turning every 4 minutes, until lightly charred on all sides and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loin registers 130°, 15–20 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes, then cut into very thin slices.
  3. Grill bread halves on both sides until lightly charred and warmed through, about 1 minute per side.
  4. Spread about ½ cup aioli over cut sides of both bread halves. Layer arugula over, then top with sliced pork, basil, chives, and a squeeze of lemon. Serve any remaining aioli alongside.

Great big salads of fresh greens with plenty of arugula are tasty too. Happy Holidays!