Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Note from Nikki--Arugula, Pork Chops, Grapes, and Blue Cheese

Nikki continues to amaze me with her creative recipe ideas. Check out her latest thoughts on how to "deal" with arugula.

Note from Nikki:

In all honesty, I haven't always been a huge fan of arugula. In fact, if it wasn't for our Inverbrook farm share, I would probably have just continued to snub it. One of the many reasons that I love being an Inverbrook member is that it exposes me to bounties of produce that I would otherwise not come across or pay attention to in the grocery store, and forces me to expand my repertoire and get creative.
Below, you'll find a recipe for arugula that is sure to please.

Grilled Pork Chops, Arugula, Grapes, and Blue Cheese
(By the way, you can skip the pork, add in some of Claire's salad greens, toss on some toasted nuts, and make it a hearty salad)


Thick, boneless pork chops seasoned with sea salt and fresh ground pepper (I grilled 9 of them and had a few leftover for my family of 6. They came in packages of 3 from Trader Joe's)

Bunch of grapes, halved
Bag of Claire's fresh picked arugula, tough stems removed, washed and spun dry
Blue cheese, crumbled or made into small pieces (I used a mild, soft blue cheese that just barely melted against the heat of the pork. Beautiful.)

1/4 C good quality, cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil (adjust to taste)
2-3 TBL white wine vinegar (adjust to taste)
Sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Prepare a medium hot grill.

While the grill is heating up, prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add the olive oil in a slow steady stream as you continue to whisk until you have an emulsion. Set aside.

Grill the chops for approximately 5-7 minutes on each side. They cook fast and leaving them on the grill for too long will make them tough. They should be just barely pink in the center and still juicy.

While the chops are on the grill, toss the arugula with the vinaigrette. (Any leftover vinaigrette will keep in the fridge nicely.)

Place some of the dressed arugula on a plate, top with a small handful of grapes, some blue cheese bits, and then the pork chop. Add a grape, a bit of cheese, and a piece of arugula to the top of the chop to make it look pretty and DIG IN.


Serves 6-8

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