Grilled Pork Chops with Cherry Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, and Arugula / Marinated and grilled pork chops on a bed of arugula with grilled cherry tomatoes and goat cheese. Simple, summery, and super yum. #porkchops #pork #grilledporkchops #tomatoes #arugula #goatcheese

Grilled Pork Chops with Cherry Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, and Arugula

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Inspired by a recipe in my “100 Perfect Pairings: Main Dishes” cookbook—Marinated Chicken with Lavender and Arugula—I set out to create a deliciously summery recipe for grilled pork chops. It similarly marinates the chops, in a concoction featuring fresh herbs instead of lavender, and similarly serves the chops on a bed of arugula that’s dressed with some of the marinade. And it’s finished with grilled cherry tomatoes and crumbled goat cheese. (For tips of how to keep foods from sticking to the grill, see this post.)

The easy result is a whole meal on a plate, side salad and all. Simple, summery, and super yum.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, oregano, or a combination, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 bone-in pork rib chops, about 3/4-inch thick
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • About 30 cherry tomatoes
  • 6 cups loosely packed arugula (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

  • Special equipment: Skewers, soaked I water for at least 10 minutes if they’re wood or bamboo

In a small bowl, combine the vinegars, honey, shallot, mint and/or oregano, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, whisking to dissolve the salt. Whisk in the olive oil. Set 2 tablespoons of the mixture aside.

Place the pork in a large resealable bag, add the remaining olive oil mixture, and seal, squeezing out as much air as possible. Set aside in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove the pork from the marinade and pat it dry (discard the marinade). Set the pork aside to return to room temperature.

Meanwhile, thread the tomatoes onto skewers.

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Sprinkle the pork and tomatoes with the fennel seeds, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon of pepper. Grill the pork until cooked through, 3 or 4 minutes per side. Grill the tomatoes until lightly charred, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the pork and tomatoes to a platter and let them rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the arugula with the reserved olive oil mixture, tossing to combine.

Arrange the arugula on plates or a platter and top with the pork and tomatoes (remove the tomatoes from the skewers). Sprinkle with the cheese, garnish with mint and/or oregano leaves, and serve.

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