Serves 4 people
4 - 6 oz pork chops (1 inch thick)
3 ears of sweet corn
1 pint of sun gold tomatoes (any cherry tomato will work)
basil, a few springs
1 bunch parsley, remove the leaves and chop very fine (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium garlic clove, grated
1 tablespoon capers, chopped fine
1-2 anchovy fillets, minced (optional)
red wine vinegar
1 lb sweet Italian frying peppers (I like the Jimmy Nardello variety)
Season the meat liberally with salt on both sides and put on a plate. Temper the meat by allowing it to come to room temperature as you prepare the tomato corn salad and salsa verde.
Make the raw corn and tomato salad. Shuck the ears of corn and use a sharp knife to remove the kernels. I like to lay down the ear flat on the board and cut from the top to the bottom with one slice. Rotate the corn and continue. Once the corn has been cut, stand it on its end and scrape the “corn milk” with the back of your knife. It has lots of sweetness and flavor. This is a raw corn salad so use corn only in the peak of summer.
Cut the tomatoes in half and mix with corn in a bowl. Season with torn basil leaves, salt, lemon juice (start with half), and olive oil.
Make the salsa verde. Combine the parsley, garlic clove, zest of 1 lemon, capers, anchovies, salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar and olive oil just to cover (about 1/2 cup). Taste it and adjust. It should be well flavored, salty and slightly tangy.
Cook the pork chops. Heat a cast iron pan or other heavy pan on medium high heat with olive oil. Lay the pork chops in and cook until a golden brown crust develops (about 5-7 minutes). Flip and cook to brown on the other side (about 4-6 min). The internal temp should be about 140. If the meat is not done, put the meat in the oven for a few min to finish (check the temperature with an internal thermometer) Remove the pork to a plate and allow it to rest.
Blister the peppers. Drain most of the fat from the pan and throw in the peppers. Cook them on medium high heat allowing them to blister before turning them. Once they are blistered and starting to brown on all sides. Season them with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.
To serve, dish some of the tomato corn salad and the peppers on the plate. Slice the pork chops in medium slices and then spoon on the salsa verde on top.
Salsa verde is an Italian green sauce and is one of my favorite sauces for meats, vegetables and just about anything. Feel free to mix it up with the herbs (use soft herbs like cilantro, dill, mint, etc and avoid the woodier herbs like rosemary, thyme). These sauces do well with something briney like the capers and anchovies but you can add olives, as well. I will often add chopped roasted nuts or toasted breadcrumbs for crunch. Experiment to find your favorite version.