pork chops with summer quinoa and caprese salad

Pork chops
Preheat your oven to 170F
1. Lightly brush with oil, season with salt and pepper. Use a paring knife and score through the peripheral fat on the chop to keep it from curling up. You knew that, right?
2. Heat a skillet to high heat with oil of choice. 1/2 and 1/2 butter and canola is great. Bacon grease would work. I’d personally avoid olive oil, but it’ll do just fine.
3. As soon as the oil is starting to smoke put your chops on and sear until nice and golden brown. DO NOT OVERCOOK, especially if you have a nice quality of pork. Your oven will take care care of the rest.
4. Flip the chops to place the side up that was most recently cooked, put them on you serving platter, and place in the oven until you’re ready to eat. Hopefully this won’t take much more than an hour.

Summer quinoa
I know we have done much of this one, but it’s awesome, my new favorite grain. If you’re wondering why this vs pasta or rice, just remember that in terms of health and glycemic index, grains and legumes always beat pasta and white rice. Oh and in case you want to call it KWIN-NOAH, don’t. KIN-wah. You’ll sound so smart!
1. It’s basil season, make a pesto. If you forgot how:
a. take as many basil leaves as you can find
b. add to blender or food processor
c. add 1 clove of garlic per cup of basil leaves
d. add just enough olive oil to make it stick
e. grate 1/4 cup of parmesan (fresh is best) per cup of leaves
f. if you want to add pecans, walnuts, pistachios, or pine nuts, go for it.
g. season with lemon juice (or red wine vinegar) and salt
2. Simmer the quinoa until done. Drain and set aside. Look at the picture below and you’ll see these little white curly filaments that get released from the quinoa. It’s done when you see those.
3. In the big skillet you just used for the pork chops, dice up a half an onion, a whole red tomato if you have it and sautee until softened.
4. Add it to your quinoa along with enough pesto to make sure you can taste it.


-Like any other pasta, quinoa is a vehicle for flavors. Of course tomato, onion, pesto go together.
-Don’t worry about being too exact with how much liquid to add to the quinoa, or rice for that matter. If you don’t want the hassle of having to be exact, just double the amount of water and strain it when it’s done.
-Your finishing temp on the pork chops is going to be 150-160. By getting a good sear and setting in the low oven, you’re pretty unlikely to overcook it. It’s a slow and low version of pan roasting. The go in just a little under and stay just right.
-The caprese salad I’ve done numerous times, and I never get tired of it. Basil, tomato, mozzarella and balsalmic vinegar or vinaigrette.


One thought on “pork chops with summer quinoa and caprese salad

  1. Pingback: Five Pork Chop Dinner Menus « jovinacooksitalian

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