Japanese Pork. Panzanella. Peach Aigredoux

It’s Monday and Panzanella has been on my mind.  For those who aren’t familiar with the dish it’s simply a Tuscan salad of bread, tomatoes, and some good olive oil. You can also add fresh herbs, lemon, and whatever your heart desires.  This recipe is inspired by the classical Panzanella and includes lots of seasonal vegetables that I picked up at the local farmers’ market and tossed them on a grill for a nice smokey flavor. . For a fun little twist I’ve added some cannelini beans.   It’s light, fresh, and the perfect Summer salad for any occasion.

Heirloom Tomato & Summer Bean Panzanella with Grilled Pork Chops

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of Tuscan round or rustic bread
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Calabrian peppers
  • 1 cup Patty Pan Squash, Stem removed and halved
  • 1 cup of baby zucchini, stem removed and halved
  • 1 cup of pole beans, stems removed and halved
  • 1 cup of cooked cannellini beans
  • 2 cups of heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup of English cucumber, peeled and quartered
  • ¾ cup of torn basil
  • ¾ cup of torn mint
  • Zest and Juice of 2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. chopped capers
  • 5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup part skim milk ricotta cheese

For The Pork

  • 4 Pork Chops
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chopped oregano

Preparation:

For the Panzanella:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  In a mixing bowl add the torn bread and 2 oz of olive oil.  Coat well and place on a sheet pan.  Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes until slightly crispy.  Remove from the oven and toss the bread in a mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl add the garlic, olive oil, patty pan squash, zucchini, pole beans, tomatoes, cucumber, and the remaining 2 oz of olive oil. Toss well. Place this mixture on a hot grill for 3-4 minutes to develop a slight char.  Remove from the grill and place the mixture into the bowl with the toasted bread.   Add the Calabrian peppers, cannellini beans, basil, mint, lemon, white balsamic, capers, salt, and pepper.  Toss well and add additional olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.  Allow to marinate for 15 minutes.

For the Pork:

Add pork chops to a mixing bowl.  Add the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Allow to marinate for 15 minutes.  Place pork chops on a hot grill over medium heat and cook 4-5 minutes on each side until you reach an internal temperature of 135 degrees.

To Serve:

Add the panzanella to a platter.  Top the panzanella with sliced pork chops, ricotta cheese, and drizzle with olive oil.

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