We have had unbelievable weather here this weekend. Sunshine, heat and not a cloud in the sky for days now… it’s been wonderful! I had bought these pork chops with the intention of just grilling them, but I decided to spruce them up a little bit instead. I love feta (see posts here and here) and, if you ask me, there’s nothing better than fresh basil pesto in the summertime. Both of these are incorporated to make the filling and then the pork is rubbed with herbs and spices, then brushed with balsamic vinegar at the end of cooking to create a really flavorful chop. Now that our farmer’s market is open, we grill vegetables almost every night; it’s such an easy way to make a great side! This recipe makes 2 chops but you could easily multiply it to accommodate more people!
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Start of by butterflying 2 boneless pork chops that are at least an inch and a half thick. Cut them horizontally through the middle with a sharp knife, stopping just short of cutting all the way through. Make the filling by mixing together 2 oz crumbled feta and 1/4c fresh basil pesto in a small bowl. Once we start growing our own basil we always make our own pesto, but in the meantime our grocery store has a Mediterranean bar that has it pre-made for us. Split the filling evenly between the two butterflied chops. Next make the dry rub for the outside of the chops by combining 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, 1 minced garlic clove, a pinch of salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Split evenly between the two chops and carefully rub into both sides. Transfer chops to roasting pan. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes (until an instant-read thermometer inserted reads 165 degrees). The time will differ based on the size of your chop and how you like your pork (my husband likes his well done, so that’s what I did here). Five minutes before the chops are done roasting, remove them from the oven and brush with a coating of balsamic vinegar then return to oven.
While the pork is in the oven roasting, preheat your grill on high. Make kabobs out of your favorite vegetables, I used green and yellow squash, teardrop tomatoes, leeks and vidalia onion. Our grocery store makes an amazing basting oil that is infused with garlic, rosemary, thyme and basil… I give the veggies a quick brush of this and then season with salt and pepper. Grill the veggies on both sides until they have some good grill marks in them and serve on the side with the pork chop.