lemon-roasted pork chop; grilled heirloom tomatoes, herbs

Everything looks great together, but it all tasted even better, and actually this is one of the easiest imaginable entrées to prepare. Virtually no skill required – other than a modest talent for food shopping.

I’ve written before that I think the approach I used here, and have used many times before, may be the best way to treat a good pork chop, or 2 pork chops (hopefully there will always be at least 2 for dinner), and, as with the best recipes, its simplicity makes it possible to invent any number of variations.

This time however, there were no twists, not even some fresh or dried habanada pepper or a last-minute fresh herb, although there was a micro green on the side. Very basic ‘slow food’, chez Hoggard / Wagner.

The tomatoes were perfect to begin with, and the simple addition of 2 herbs only crowned that perfection.

  • two thick 10-ounce pork chops from Flying Pigs Farm, thoroughly dried, seasoned with sea salt and a generous amount of freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, seared quickly on both sides inside a very hot, heavy oval enameled cast-iron pan, half of an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market squeezed over them both, after which the lemon was left on the surface between the chops, the pan placed in a 425º oven for about 14 minutes (flipped halfway through, the lemon squeezed over the top once again, and replaced in the pan), the finished chops removed from the oven and arranged on 2 plates, some of the pan juices poured over the top of the chops, the remainder poured into a sauce boat for use at the table, the pork garnished with micro nasturtium leaves from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • three ripe heirloom tomatoes from Eckerton Hill Farm, chosen for their bright primary colors (a fourth, which can be seen on the far left in the second picture above, had been purchased at the same time, but, of a more ambiguous red-purple, it remained on the windowsill for another day), halved through the middle, the cut sides sprinkled with chopped fresh oregano from Norwich Meadows Farm and chopped thyme from Keith’s Farm. drizzled with olive oil, placed on a hot enameled grill pan which had been brushed with a little oil, grilled cut side up for 3 or 4 minutes, turned over and the cut side grilled for another minute, or minute and a half, arranged on the plates and sprinkled with additional oregano and thyme, maybe a drizzle of olive oil
  • the wine was a California (Sonoma) white, Jac Cole Unoaked Chardonnay Alexander Valley Sonoma County 2016, from Naked Wines
  • the music was Handel’s 1724 opera (the 1731 version),’Tamerlano’, Riccardo Minasi conducting Il Pomo d’Oro, with Xavier Sabata in the title role