I know, right? How amazing does that sound?!? Mr. J was in charge of dinner and that is seriously what he came up with. I loved it! It was really good and actually surprisingly easy. I assisted as his sous-chef so I snapped some photos as he cooked.
This is super easy feels totally special and is such a wow meal.
He found the pork chops with roasted kale and walnut pesto on the food network site. It was so good and definitely one to jot down. If you think you aren’t into pork chops then get a meat thermometer. If you’ve had hard-as-rock pork it isn’t pretty. The thermometer will save the day.
The pesto takes 10 minutes. Polenta takes about 5 minutes. The pork cookes quickly too.
Roasted Kale Pesto
from Food Network
1 head of kale
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tbs lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Tear the kale off the stems and spread onto a sheet pan.
Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper.
Roast for about 5 minutes (be careful not to let it burn)
Transfer into a food processor with walnuts, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Blend until smooth while slowly streaming in the olive oil until you reach your desired thickness (add more olive oil if using with pasta, add less for topping on meat).
It stores well and we froze half for a “rainy day”. This pesto would be amazing for a vegetarian dish. It is so flavorful, unique, and not overpowering at all.
For the pork chops we used were boneless but bone-in would be fine as well. Season generously with salt, pepper, and dried rosemary, on both sides.
In a pan large enough to fit all the chops, preheat it to medium-high heat.
Add the pork chops to sear on one side for about 5 minutes, then flip and cook until the center reaches 140-150 degrees on a thermometer.
We made some polenta too. I haven’t had polenta in awhile but I forgot how quick it is. As in, 5 minutes quick. It makes dinner feel really different.
Have leftover pesto? Spread it into a panini and dip the grilled cheese into marinara for an Italian grilled cheese. Or use it on pizza or pasta. Leftover polenta? Form into patties and fry like I did here with scallops. Polenta works well with anything spicy like chorizo or with anything earthy like duck.