Harissa rubbed grilled pork chops are a simple, spicy summer meal perfectly paired with a ripe peach and tomato salad and glass of sweet red wine.
One of the most common questions I get when I tell someone what I do for a living second only to “how do you make money doing that?!” is: “where do you come up with all your recipe ideas?” Followed by something along the lines of “I can’t even figure out what to make for dinner!”
*This post for Harissa Rubbed Grilled Pork Chops is sponsored by Sutter Home. All content and opinions are my own.
While creativity in that regard comes in waves (I definitely have my fair share of lulls), inspiration is usually pretty simple for me. It’s a combination of the season + whatever looks the best at the grocery store/market.
In this case, local pork chops from a pig grown on a friend’s farm and butchered a few miles away paired with vine ripened tomatoes and peaches from another local farm down the road. Sure, New York as a state is known for its apples but as a region, the Hudson Valley is probably most famed for the rise of farm to table cuisine over the last decade or two and this meal couldn’t epitomize it more perfectly if it tried.
I grew up with Sutter Home wines (mostly White Zinfandel back in the day) on my grandparent’s table for every macaroni and meatball Sunday dinner we made the hour long trip to their house for over the years. Halfway through dinner when the bottle inevitably went empty, as the oldest grandkid, I got the coveted job of going down to the wine cellar in the basement and bringing up another bottle for the adults. I remember thinking how I couldn’t wait to have a space like that in my house one day.
25-ish years later, here I am as an adult and although I don’t have that wine cellar (yet), I can definitely appreciate the pairing of a sweeter wine with a savory dinner.
I’ve moved away from blush wines these days but after a trip to Tuscany a few years back, I came to love sweet red wine with the right food pairing – aka: anything spicy!
I think sweet wine can tend to get ignored when it comes to the main course, primarily being considered only at dessert. When served with a spicy dish, however, it has this beautiful ability to tone down and complement the heat at the same time making it a great option for the main course.
When I saw these absolutely gorgeous thick-cut bone-in pork chops in my haul from the butcher I knew the meat had to be the star of the show. I wanted a simple marinade or rub that would really highlight how juicy these chops are and the flavor of the meat itself rather than mask it.
With just a few ingredients, the harissa rub brings out the best in the pork while imparting just a touch of spice and lends itself perfectly to the Sutter Home Sweet Red pairing.
With notes of sun-ripened cherries and peaches, the Sutter Home Sweet Red tones down the kick from the harissa just enough and balances the char from the grill so well. Each sip has subtle floral notes to go along perfectly with the peach and tomato summer salad side dish.
These harissa rubbed grilled pork chops are the kind of summer meal I could eat over and over again. Nothing’s complicated, just a few quality ingredients that highlight the season, prepared simply and a deliciously curated glass of wine to go with it.
Cheers to that!
FOR THE PORK CHOPS
- 2 thick cut, bone-in pork chops
- kosher salt + black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon harissa paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
FOR THE TOMATO PEACH SALAD
- 2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 large, ripe peach cut into wedges
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
FOR THE PORK CHOPS:
Season both sides of the pork chops generously with salt and pepper.
Mix the harissa paste, olive oil, basil and parsley together in a small bowl.
Rub the harissa mixture all over both sides of the pork chops and set aside.
Heat an outdoor grill to high.
Once hot, place the pork chops on the grill. Grill for 4-5 minutes per side. Total cooking time will depend on thickness of each pork chop.
Remove pork chops from the grill, place on a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving with the salad.
FOR THE TOMATO PEACH SALAD:
Combine the tomatoes, peaches, arugula, basil and lemon zest in a bowl.
Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil in a separate bowl. Pour over the tomatoes and peaches and gently toss to combine. Garnish with the toasted pine nuts and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with the grilled pork chops.
Pair with a sweet wine like Sutter Home's Sweet Red.