June 2015


salsa verde in a jar

Salsa verde is yet another Italian sauce I didn’t grow up with, but recently discovered. It’s a simple, versatile, flavorful combination of parsley, capers and lemon with olive oil. And with fresh parsley and other herbs growing right outside on the deck, there’s no time like RIGHT NOW to make it.

I’ve served it over a grilled pork chop on a bed of spinach.

salsa verde over grilled pork chop
It’s excellent on a lamburger. We even spooned it over wood-fired steaks.

woodfired steaks

Yes, you read that right–steaks on the chiminea! Served with broccoli ‘n melted Colby cheddar and bulgur wheat was quite the treat …

salsa verde steaks

You can even mix it with white beans or chickpeas and any other vegetables of your choice (may I suggested chopped red peppers?) to create a tasty side dish. But if you’d like to get in on the deliciousness, it would help to share the recipe. So here we go!

SALSA VERDE ITALIAN-STYLE
adapted from The New York Times

good handful of fresh parsley, chopped coarsely
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon capers, drained (I use Sclafani’s tiny nonpareilles in wine vinegar)
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
zest of a lemon (and juice of half of the lemon–but save the juice to add just before serving)

You can use other herbs in addition to the parsley–thyme, basil and chives just to name a few. Last time, I added chive blossoms just “for pretty.”

salsa verde chives

Combine these ingredients–except the lemon juice–until it’s time to serve. I used a jar for ease of transport, but you can use a small bowl if you like. Let this sit out for a while to let the flavors marry. When it’s time to eat, squeeze in the fresh lemon juice, stir and enjoy.

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brown sugar pork chops with salt lick baked potatoes

Some of my favorite dishes shouldn’t qualify as recipes as they’re so easy–so here are two for the price of one. They go quite nicely together. And they’re a quick and delicious meal to make during the week when you’re short on time.

BROWN SUGAR PORK CHOPS with SALT LICK BAKED POTATOES

For the chops
2 pork chops (ours were somewhere between 1/2″ and 3/4″ thick)
Penzeys Barbecue of the Americas
light brown sugar
salt
olive oil

For the potatoes
2 russet potatoes, scrubbed
Kosher salt
butter at room temperature
sour cream (if you wish and I do!)
finely chopped scallions or chives (why not?)

Prep the potatoes first!
Preheat your oven to 475 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes, poke ’em with a fork all the way around.

While the potatoes are still wet, rub them with Kosher salt. Once the oven is up to temp, bake them for an hour and fifteen minutes (1:15). You can put them right on the oven rack, but if you prefer not to get salt all over your oven, simply set them in a pan.

Now would be a lovely time to make a salad or a tasty vegetable to go with. 🙂 But before you start, get the pork ready.

Pork chop prep
Sprinkle each side of both chops with Barbecue of the Americas and a bit of salt. Yes, the spice blend itself does contain salt, but you won’t go wrong with a bit more. Then take a good handful of light brown sugar and coat both sides. Press the sugar into the meat and let the chops come up to room temperature. They’ll take less than 10 minutes to cook–so think about kicking ’em off once your potatoes hit the hour mark.

When it’s time to cook the chops, coat a nonstick pan with olive oil and set it over medium heat. When the oil is heated and sizzles when the pork hits the pan, set a timer. It’ll only take about 3-4 minutes on each side–at least on my stove.

Et voilà–since you timed it right, it’s time for dinner! Grab those potatoes, be generous with the butter and sour cream and enjoy!