This grilled veggie salad can be found over on Cookstr. I modified it quite a bit, mostly because I abhor green bell peppers, and would much rather have an avocado. I also decided that since I was going with avocados, I should use cilantro instead of parsley. All in all, it turned out really well, and served warm or cold, it was delicious. Something about a grilled salad makes summer-time almost tolerable.
This meal was made for lunch, and was pretty easily put together. The pork chops were brined for about 24 hours. I used a mixture of tarragon vinegar, mustard, olive oil, tap water and a dash of some spices. I was unsure what flavor I was actually looking for, so I decided to just play it safe. Nothing too bold. It turned out well enough; the chops were tossed on the grill, and when cooked, were possibly the juiciest chops I have ever had. It was impressive.
Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Veggie Salad (serves 2, or 1 on a lonely weekend with leftovers)
2 pork chops
1 tablespoon peppercorns (I used pink)
2 tablespoons good quality mustard
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 cups water (maybe more, depending)
1 tablespoons kosher salt
2 brined pork chops
6 sage leaves
salt and pepper
1 small eggplant, trimmed and sliced crosswise
1 red bell pepper
1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into wedges, and skewered
2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
2 tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Start off by tossing the pork chops into a large resealable bag. Add all the other ingredients, and toss around. Squeeze off all the air, and set into fridge. The chops should be covered completely with the brine. Let brine for 6-24 hours.
After you are ready for the chops, remove from fridge and remove from the brine. Dry off thoroughly. I used paper towels to dry them off. Place the sage leaves into the chop, stem first, if you can. Season the chops with salt and pepper, and set aside while you make the salad.
Start the grill, and get nice and hot. Roast the bell pepper, getting a very heavy char on it. Once the pepper is charred on all sides, set aside and let cool. Add the chops, and turn the heat down to medium. Next, season the chopped veggies with generous amounts of salt, pepper and olive oil. Set everything on the grill, as best you can. Everything with take the heat nicely, and you just need to watch anything that is over direct fire. The onions do a good job on hot spots on my grill. You are looking to just get a nice char on everything. The eggplant will drink the most oil, so keep them soaked.
Juice the lemons into a large bowl, and mix with cilantro and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle in a bit of good quality olive oil. Whisk with a fork. Slice open the avocado, remove the seed and slice into bite-sized pieces. Toss into the lemon mixture, and mix around a bit to coat.
Turn everything on the grill over after about 5-7 minutes, depending on how everything looks. Reseason the veggies with salt, pepper and oil.
The chops will take about 20 minutes, and everything else should be ready in about 15. Keep on eye on everything as it cooks. With so much oil, fires can happen, and Smokey says only you can prevent grill fires.
Once the veggies are moderately charred, take them off and toss into the bowl. Take the bell pepper, and split it down the middle, stem and seed, then scrape off the heavy char. Cut into bite-sized pieces, and toss into the salad, and mix around thoroughly.
The chops should be done at this point. Remove and let rest for a few moments.
Serve with a decent Merlot or Double Bastard.