• Laura

Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Romesco Bread Salad

Updated: Sep 24

I love a traditional Romesco Sauce with its blend of sweet, smoky and earthy flavors, but I also love to futz with classic recipes. When I decided to try a Peach Romesco, substituting grilled peaches for charred tomatoes, I was happy with the flavor but found the yellowish puree too visually reminiscent of baby food. I decided to deconstruct the recipe and discovered the combination made a lovely and complex bread salad. What started as a sauce became a delicious and vibrant side dish!


The challenging part of this recipe is that it requires two rounds of grilling. This is made easier with a gas grill, but I always prefer the flavor that is achieved from grilling over charcoal. You can also enlist a friend to grill the chops while you assemble to bread salad.


I start by quickly brining the pork chops to keep them moist during grilling. I also lightly salt them before grilling to support the smoky caramelized flavor that come from the grill.


I've posted the recipe directly below. Look for directional photoblog and a Hot tip further below!


Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Romesco Bread Salad

Serves 4

For the pork chops:

4 bone-in, 1”-thick, pork chops

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup kosher salt


Bread Salad:

1/2 cup whole almonds

3 ripe peaches

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for peaches, bread, and chops

Salt

2 slices of bread

1 bell pepper

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar


Brine your chops:

In a small sauce pan, combine 1 cup water with sugar and salt. Heat over medium heat until sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour into a container that will tightly hold chops. Add 2 cups ice and 2 cups water and stir, until ice is mostly melted and brine is cold. Add chops, adding more water if necessary to immerse chops. Cover and leave at room temperature one to two hours.

Prep Bread Salad:

Prepare charcoal grill with a hot and cold side, using enough coals to make your hot side, medium hot.


While you are waiting for your grill to heat, prepare your items for bread salad. Toast almonds in a sauté pan over medium-low heat, tossing frequently, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Don’t burn! Set aside to cool


Cut the flesh of each peach off the pit, making 4 separate pieces from each side of the peach. Toss with a light coating of olive oil and generous pinch of salt.


Drizzle bread with olive oil on both sides, brush oil with basting brush so that bread is well covered.

Begin phase 1 of grilling: Char bell pepper all over. Once charring is achieved, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam.

Meanwhile, grill peaches until cooked through and lightly charred. Grill bread until toasted on both sides.

You have now completed phase 1 of grilling. In order to preserve charcoal, you may want to cover the grill, leaving vents open while prepping salad. (Alternatively, you can have a friend grill chops while assembling bread salad.)

When pepper is cooled to touch, removed charred skins, top and seeds and discard. Dice pepper flesh and add to a salad bowl.


Chop peaches roughly and add to salad bowl. Dice bread into small cubes and set aside in a separate bowl. Roughly chop almonds and add to salad bowl with the remaining bread salad ingredients (excluding the bread) and toss.

Begin phase 2 of grilling: remove grill cover and allow fire to return to medium hot. This may take several minutes and a bit of fanning.

Cook pork chops:

Drain pork chops from brine and pat dry. Lightly coat with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Grill directly over flame on both sides, to achieve flavorful grill marks, about 2 minutes per side. Move chops to cool side and cover grill, leaving vents open and continue to grill until chops reach an internal temperature of 145°, about 5 minutes more.

Let chops repose for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Pull it all together: Toss toasted bread cubes with bread salad and plate with chops. Enjoy!

Photolog:



Step #1:

Make quick brine and add chops to cooled brine.








#2 Toast almonds. Chop when cool.






#3 Grill peaches, pepper, and bread.


#4 Steam peppers. (pic is from an early test using an orange pepper.)


#5 Dice peaches and bread and assemble all salad ingredients except peppers and bread.


#6 Clean and dice pepper, removing charred skin, top, seeds, and interior ribs.






























#7 Drain chops, pat dry, lightly coat in s+p. Grill. Repose. Then bring it all together!


***Hot tip! When mincing garlic, do it on top of the salt called for in the recipe. The salt will absorb the oil from the garlic, so it will end up in your dish instead of your cutting board!



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