Grilled pork chops with a fresh, Italian-style cherry salsa made with onions, basil and balsamic vinegar.
If your cherries are juicy, the salsa will be juicy too. If you want the salsa less juicy, put the finished salsa into a fine-meshed strainer and strain off some of the excess juice.
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 pounds cherries, about 4 cups
- 4 pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick
- Olive oil
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 heaping teaspoon sugar
1 Mix the chopped onion with the lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside. The lemon juice will help take the edge off the onions.
2 Coat the pork chops in olive oil and sprinkle salt over them. Set aside at room temperature.
3 Pit and de-stem the cherries. A cherry pitter is magical for this task, but if you don't have one, use a small knife. Double check for stray pits, they always seem to find their way into dishes that call for fresh cherries.
4 Put the cherries, onions and chopped basil into a food processor. Pulse a few times until you have a chunky salsa, with differing textures of cherry. Alternately, you can chop everything by hand.
5 Mix in the balsamic vinegar, the 1/2 teaspoon salt and sugar. Add more of any of these ingredients to taste. Set aside at room temperature. You can make this salsa up to 8 hours in advance.
6 Prepare your grill for high direct heat. Grill the pork chops over high heat with the grill cover closed for 3 minutes. Turn them 45 degrees on the same side to get a pretty cross-hatch pattern, then close the grill cover and cook another 3 minutes. Turn the pork chops over, but this time keep the grill cover open and cook for a final 2-3 minutes. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serve the pork chops with the cherry salsa.
Yield: Serves 4.