Romesco Pork Chops & Mediterranean Salad

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

In a scheduling decision that is a first for The Chardonnay Kitchen, I’m posting two recipes back to back that were actual dinners prepared back to back. While digesting our awesomely complex and delicious seafood dinner, J remarked about the romesco, “This would be great on pork.” Lo and behold, I had Skinnytaste’s Mediterranean pork chops on the agenda for the next day. In that recipe, she just advises you season the pork with whatever you want, but top them with a fresh and flavorful Greek-inspired salad. Because of J’s brilliant comment, I upped the ante and made the pork a main attraction as well.

Gina's recipe has you roast the vegetables in the salad in the oven. Blessed with End Of Summer Produce, I kept the oven entirely off and served all of the vegetables raw. I cut the zucchini and yellow squash into long thin strips and then halved the strips. I cut the grape tomato in quarters lengthwise. Then I tossed them with the crumbled feta, pitted kalamata olives, dried oregano, white pepper, and some white balsamic vinegar (there was enough residual olive oil from the kalamatas).

All in the salad was about 4 servings. I had one and J had two helpings of the salad - so fresh and crunchy and sweet! - and I took the fourth serving to work the next day for lunch.

Once the salad was finished, I cooked four thin boneless pork chops in vegetable oil on the stove, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper. I let them rest for a minute or two on paper towels to blot off excess oil and then topped each chop with a teaspoon of the romesco.

Eating the rainbow - orange romesco, yellow + green + red + purple salad.

The sweet crunch of the salad paired beautifully with the smoky, nutty romesco. Truly, I think I would have enjoyed this salad on top of plain pork chops, but the romesco - with it's even stronger second-day flavor intensity - was outrageous on the thin chops. This was a quick weeknight meal that didn't heat up the whole house with the oven on. You now have two different ideas on how to use romesco - I'm telling you, you'll love it and you will be glad if you try it!

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