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Grilled Pork Chops with Tomato Relish

On one of my trips to Italy I worked with scientists from the University of Bologna. After work they would take me to various little restaurants in the mountains and expose me to Italian country cooking. One night I was told to order the grilled pork chop. The mashed sweet potato in the photo is strictly New World. I had not considered pork chops to be an Italian specialty. It later dawned on me that with agricultural land in Italy at a premium, pork and veal require far less land than raising beef.

2 boneless pork chops, 1 inch thick

Olive oil for brushing

Salt to taste

Fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Prepare the relish (recipe follows). Trim the chops of visible fat. Prepare the grill for hot, indirect cooking. Brush the chops with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill directly over the fire for 4 minutes per side. Move them to indirect and grill until done, approximately 5 to 7 additional minutes.

Tomato Relish

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

2 slices red onion, diced

1/4 cup sliced Niçoise or Kalamata olives

4 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients and blend thoroughly.

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