For 2 years now I have been committed to receiving a CSA box of fruits and vegetables every other week from Terra Organics. I love it! Locally grown produce that I get to pick online and then have delivered straight to my door. Not only do I feel good knowing that I support my local community, it has changed the way I cook. Instead of coming up with recipes and heading to the store for all the ingredients, I now start with what I’ve already got on hand. For instance, I had a bunch of rhubarb delivered this week. Knowing that we had friends coming over later in the week for dinner, I immediately went to the fridge to check my produce and decided to feature our meal around the rhubarb. Rhubarb; how it shines in tarts, pies and crumbles. But what about for a main course and what would go with it? To Pinterest I went, looking desperately for a match. This recipe for pork chops and rhubarb mostarda looked to be the best fit for our evening. I made the sauce in the morning (you can also do it the night before), only leaving the marinating and grilling to be done. What a marvelous dish. The sauce by itself is sweet and strong flavored, but perfectly compliments the pork. All were happy at the table. Final note; I have been waiting for the perfect meal to pair with one of the bottles of Riesling I brought back from Alsace, France. This was it. The Riesling was fairly dry and didn’t compete with the rhubarb. I would encourage you to look for something similar, dry to semi-dry Riesling.
Grilled Pork Chops with Rhubarb Mostarda
For the rhubarb mostarda:
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 lb. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
2 Tbs. dry mustard
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 pork chops
2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
To make the mostarda, in a large, heavy pot, combine the sugar, vinegar, ginger, garlic and cumin. Place over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Add the rhubarb and onion, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently to break up the rhubarb, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard, season with pepper and stir until smooth. Let cool completely. If desired, refrigerate overnight. Return the mostarda to room temperature before serving.
In a shallow nonreactive dish that will hold the pork chops in a single layer, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Whisk in the salt and pepper. Place the chops in the dish and brush both sides thoroughly with the lemon mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours, turning the chops occasionally.
Remove the chops from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove the chops from the marinade and pat dry. Reserve the marinade if using a charcoal grill.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill, or preheat a cast-iron grill pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat.
Place the chops on the grill rack over the hottest part of the fire or in the grill pan and cook without moving them for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Move the chops after 1 minute if the fire flares up. Turn the chops over and cook until they are golden brown and crusty, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes more. If using a charcoal grill, brush the chops occasionally with the reserved marinade. Move the chops to a cooler part of the grill or reduce the heat, and cook until the chops are firm to the touch but still have a little give, 2-3 minutes more.
Transfer the chops to a platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately with the mostarda. Serves 4.
Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma