Omnivores will find that this meal hits the spot, in a savory way. Even a few minutes of marinating infuses a nice, earthy flavor in the meat, and the salad is a nice complement that comes together while the pork chops are cooking.
An exhaust fan is essential, unless you opt for doing this on a quick-heating gas grill outdoors.
Adapted from “Mediterranean Cooking: More Than 150 Favorites to Enjoy With Family and Friends,” by Ellen Brown (Sterling Epicure, 2014).
Paprika pork chops with carrot and olive salad
1 or 2 large lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
4 8-ounce, bone-in pork chops, about 3/4 inch thick
Freshly ground black pepper
4 medium carrots
1 cup pitted black olives
1 large handful flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 large handful cilantro leaves and tender stems
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Squeeze a total of 4 tablespoons of lemon juice into a wide, shallow dish. Stir in half of the oil, half of the cumin and all of the paprika.
Season the pork chops evenly with salt and pepper on both sides, then add to the dish, turning to coat them completely.
Meanwhile, fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and place it over medium heat. Place a steamer basket on top.
Scrub the carrots well. Cut them in half lengthwise, then crosswise into thin slices, transferring them to the steamer basket as you work. Cover and cook/steam for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from the saucepan; cool for 10 minutes.
Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, grease with cooking oil spray.
Remove the pork chops from the marinade; discard any remaining marinade in the dish.
Place the chops in the grill pan; cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until nicely browned on the first side, then turn them over and cook on the second side for 6 to 8 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
While the pork chops are cooking, coarsely chop the olives and place them in a mixing bowl. Rinse the parsley and cilantro; tear the leaves, letting them fall into the bowl. Add the cooled carrots.
Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the remaining 2 teaspoons of cumin and the red wine vinegar in a cup, then pour over the vegetable-herb mixture and toss to coat. Taste, and season lightly with salt and pepper as needed.
Divide among individual plates. Rest a pork chop on top of each portion of salad. Serve right away.
Makes: 4 servings.
Nutrition Per serving: 560 calories, 44 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 38 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 140 mg cholesterol, 540 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar.