This was such an easy dinner to make. It's perfect for a summer evening — and it's GAPS legal (if you are at the point where you can do cheese, that is — if not, skip the cheese).
The pork is from Rocky Canyon Farms here in Southern California and the tomatoes and basil are from my garden.
Tuscan Grilled Pork Chops and Caprese Salad
Pork chops — from humanely raised pigs
Sea salt — where to buy sea salt
Freshly ground pepper — where to buy black pepper
Freshly chopped rosemary
Chili powder or cayenne (a pinch or two) — where to buy cayenne, where to buy chili powder
Organic tomatoes (2)
Organic basil (a bunch)
Mozzarella (1 ball) — a little bigger than one of the tomatoes — where to buy mozzarella
Butter, from grass-fed cows, raw if possible — if you can't do dairy, use duck or chicken fat or lard (1 TBS) — where to buy grass-fd butter
Olive oil — where to buy olive oil
Cast iron skillet
1. If you can remember to do it in the morning (or the night before), take your pork chops out of the fridge.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the sea salt, ground pepper, rosemary, and chili powder (season to taste).
3. Rub the chops with the spice blend, then stick them in a Ziploc freezer bag or a glass baking dish.
4. Pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a dash of balsamic vinegar into the Ziploc bag; seal and rub into the meat. Return to fridge.
5. If you don't remember to do this early in the day, you can do it just before you cook the chops. That's what I did and it still turned out fine.
The longer you let them marinate, the better, but if you can't get around to it, don't stress.
Also if you don't have rosemary, it's OK. I have done it without. (I was too lazy to go outside and get it.) It will still taste good. (But you really should consider growing some rosemary in a sunny spot in your yard or in a pot on the patio. It's grows like a weed.)
6. Slice the mozzarella and plate.
7. Rinse the basil and tomatoes. Put a piece of basil on each piece of cheese. Then slice the tomato and set it on top of each basil leaf. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and set aside.
8. Put a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add 1 TBS of butter and 1 TBS olive oil.
9. When hot but not smoking (don't let it get so hot that it smokes), add your chops. Sear one minute on each side, then cover and cook for 2-4 minutes on each side (until cooked through).
10. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the salad and plate the chops.
If you really wanted to, you could serve this with some risotto or pasta. Or you could do a first course of bacon-wrapped dates or fried zucchini blossoms or some homemade pizza.
But honestly it is not necessary. This was perfectly satisfying.