lemon pork chop; beet/lettuce/horseradish salad; cheese

Look, no tomatoes!

They’ve been a part of virtually every meal this month, and the last, but it didn’t occur to me to include them last night. I was thinking we’d have a cheese course later, and I wanted to keep the entrée down to 2 elements; I knew there would be some color even without tomatoes; and I thought that the lettuce I would be including, plus a micro green, would add a sufficient element of freshness themselves.

And yet there was tomato, although only as a very subtle addition to the self sauce created by the pork.

I love both this special vegetable, and the pork, as well as the recipes I used for each, but the entire entrée was even more successful than I had expected. In the case of the chops, the simple addition of even the small amount of rendered heirloom tomato juices I had, remaining from an earlier meal, may have made all the difference.

The beets were an extraordinary new sweet variety we’ve enjoyed before, using the same recipe, and even though I ended up roasting them longer than I wanted to, they were still delicious. Horseradish is a blessed thing.

  • two 8-ounce bone-in loin pork chops from Flying Pig Farm, thoroughly dried, seasoned with salt and pepper and seared quickly in a heavy enameled cast-iron pan before the 2 halves of a small Whole Foods Market organic lemon was squeezed over the top (then left in the pan between them, cut sides down), the chops placed in a 425º oven for less than 14 minutes (flipped halfway through, the lemon halves squeezed over them once again and replaced), removed from the oven and arranged on plates, some of the pan juices, that had been mixed with tomato juices inside a heavy glass sauce boat, spooned over the top, the sauce boat placed on the table to be available during the meal, the pork garnished with micro red mustard from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • a number (but less than a pound) of not-very-large ‘Badger Flame’ beets from Norwich Meadows Farm [more here] trimmed, washed and scrubbed, cut into wedges, tossed in a bowl with roughly 2 tablespoons of olive oil; 3 halved cloves of Rocambole garlic from Keith’s Farm (I should have kept them unpeeled), a generous amount of oregano buds from Norwich Meadows Farm, sea salt, and freshly-ground pepper to taste, covered loosely with foil and baked for 20 minutes or so inside a 400º oven, after which the foil was taken off, the beets turned on another side and roasted for 25 minutes longer, or until they were tender, when they were removed from the oven and arranged on 2 plates on top of the well-washed outer leaves of a head of purple romaine lettuce from from Echo Creek Farm of Salem, NY, in the Saturday Chelsea Farmers Market (on the north sidewalk of 23rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues), a little olive oil and drops of a good Spanish Rioja vinegar drizzled on the beet segments and the lettuce, but with the greens also sprinkled with salt and pepper, the beet salad finished with some horseradish root from Gorzynski Ornery Farm freshly grated on top [note that the recipe mostly follows one on page 36 inside the hard copy of the excellent book of simple kitchen formulae, ‘Italian Easy’; Recipes from the London River Cafe‘]

There was a cheese course, which I did not photograph

  • ‘Pawlet’ cow cheese and ‘Manchester’ goat cheese, both from Consider Bardwell Farm, and Riverine Ranch buffalo milk brie
  • a mix of several kinds of raisins (colors and sizes) from Trader joe’s Market
  • thin toasts of a sturdy She Wolf Bakery sourdough ‘miche’