With Memorial Day weekend behind us, the first heat wave has passed quickly followed by unseasonable rain, and school distance learning winding down – all signs point to summer. And even though it often feels like Groundhog day, things are slowly and carefully opening back up and we may feel like there’s some summer fun on the horizon. There’s no doubt about it, this summer won’t have many of the familiar markers of summer- pool parties, overseas travel adventures, and overnight camps, but if we try to incorporate our favorite parts of the season, nobody can take the carefree feeling of summer away from you!
I, for one, look forward to more farmer’s markets on the weekends as well as making time for the summer mid-week markets that are beginning to open up locally. One of the biggest changes I’m making this summer is to have my three kids (ages 15, 13, and 10) make dinner every Wednesday. I will give them about 3 – 4 of my most trusted cookbooks, and let them pick out the meal, write a grocery list and have it ready for me by the beginning of the week when I do my food shopping. They have to cook and clean up the dishes they use for preparing the meal- but dad and mom are in charge of the dinner dishes – reverse roles.
One of my favorite ways to make dinner during the summer is to marinate some type of protein (usually chicken or pork) early in the day, and when dinner time rolls around, quickly and easily throwing that on the grill with a veggie (usually summer squash, bell peppers, corn or asparagus) and serving with a salad or seasonal fruit. Could not be easier and keeps the heat and the mess outside.
This recipe for Grilled Pork Chops with Stone-Fruit Relish is one of my favorite summer dishes. It’s got grilled protein, fruit and veggie(ish) and lots of flavor- all rolled into one dish! It’s based on a recipe from Gourmet Magazine- a beautiful magazine that I wish was still in publication. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Grilled Pork Chops with Stone-Fruit Relish
This easy summer dish uses peak of the season ingredients and is as beautiful as it is tasty. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts also works well with this flavorful fruit relish. Smoked paprika makes for a deep smokey flavor and if you like more of a kick, use a serrano instead of the jalapeno. This recipe was adapted from Gourmet Magazine.
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 pork chops (¾ – 1" thick) boneless or bone-in
- 1 nectarine, diced peaches or plums also work
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 scallions, finely chopped use white and green parts
- 1 tbsp seeded, finely chopped jalapeno pepper use serrano for more kick
- 3 tbsp chopped basil
- 2 tbsp chopped mint
- 2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
For the marinade, combine all ingredients into a ziplock bag or a shallow glass baking dish. Add the pork chops and make sure they are well coated. Let sit while you prepare the relish.
For the relish, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When ready to cook, prepare gas grill by brushing the grates with oil and heating grill to medium.
Remove pork chops from marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Grill chops, turning once, until internal temperature reaches 135°, then tent with foil and rest for 5 minutes. Serve with relish.