First, the boneless pork chops (which are a lean loin cut) are rubbed with herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Once browned in olive oil, they are removed from the skillet to make way for the broccoli slaw’s quick saute. There’s a tasty, tender core in those broccoli stalks, revealed by the fast work of a vegetable peeler. For a shortcut, you could skip the step of shredding the broccoli and carrot and use a bag of broccoli slaw mix instead.
The moisture from the vegetables in the skillet, a little chicken broth and some lemon juice softens the caramelized browned bits left by the meat and becomes a flavorful coating for the slaw. Sliced dried apricots (I prefer sweeter Turkish apricots for this dish, as California apricots tend to be more tart) bring out the sweet undertones of the carrot and broccoli, adding a layer of texture and a fruity flavor that pairs so well with pork.
Finally, the pork chops are nestled in the slaw and warmed through to finish cooking and bring the dish together. The result is a satisfying meal that has an Old World sensibility, but with a fresh twist.
Herb-Rubbed Pork Chops With Warm Broccoli Slaw
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (may substitute 1 teaspoon dried sage)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (may substitute 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic (powder)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless pork loin chops (about 5 ounces each)
1 1/4 pounds broccoli stems (from about 2 1/2 pounds broccoli bunches; may substitute one 12-to-14-ounce bag broccoli slaw)
1 medium carrot
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
1/2 cup sliced dried Turkish apricots
3/4 cup no-salt-added chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Combine the sage, rosemary, garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub this herb mixture on both sides of the pork chops; let them sit (at room temperature, about 10 minutes) while you prep the remaining ingredients.
Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to trim away the broccoli stems’ tough outer layer as well as 1/4 inch from the bottom of each stem. (The yield should be about 12 ounces of tender broccoli stems.) Shred them on the large-holed side of a box grater or in a food processor fitted with a shredding disk. Shred the carrots the same way.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the chops; cook until well browned on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side; they will not be cooked through. Transfer them to a plate.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the same skillet. Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion and cook for 1 minute, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, then stir in the shredded broccoli and carrot and the apricots; cook for 1 minute.
Add the broth, lemon juice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper to the skillet. Once the mixture is bubbling at the edges, return the pork chops to the pan, nestling them in the slaw. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the pork chops have the faintest pink blush in the center (145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), stirring once or twice, about 3 minutes more.
Serve the pork chops with the warm slaw alongside.
Nutrition per serving: 390 calories, 35 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 19 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 85 mg cholesterol, 600 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 9 g sugar