Another flavor packed, satisfying dish that you can easily make for lunch or dinner.
Making and having your own Basil Pesto to keep in your fridge is really not hard.
It is so easy to use too. There is a freshness and pop that homemade pesto brings to anything it touches. The pork chop is seasoned with salt and pepper, then cooked in a sauté pan with a touch of olive oil over medium heat until the exterior gets a mouthwatering caramelized color. Fresh sage is added to melted butter and heated to lightly brown then drizzle over the pork chop on the plate. The sweet potatoes in this recipe are cut into large slices, tossed in a little olive oil, spread out in a pan, then baked in a 400-degree oven for about 30 to 45 minutes. The Zucchini, which Chirpy loves btw, is also seared in olive oil on the stove until they are soft with sweet dark brown edges. Nothing in this dish is difficult at all!!
Fresh homemade Basil Pesto, kept in the fridge, can be used in SO MANY WAYS! It's a perfect quick sauce for pasta, gnocci, vegetables, any meat of fish, add it to your tomato sauce, add to salad dressing for a fresh kick, roasted potatoes, or like in this dish, drizzle over roasted sweet potatoes.
Makes about 1 Cup
1 lg. Bunch Fresh Basil
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 ea. Garlic Cloves-Chopped
1/4 tsp. Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Pistachios or Walnuts
3 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper - season to your taste
Gently and dry the basil. Using a 'salad spinner' is the best way to dry any produce. Pick the leaves off the stems and set aside. I prefer just using the leaves, you can add the stems to your pesto if you want. I use stems for soups and stocks.
In a small blender that has a 20 oz. cup, add the olive oil, basil, garlic cloves, and lemon juice. With a Spoon push the basil down into the bender.
Put lid on blender and pulse. You will have to stop, push basil down, then pulse. If you need to add another tablespoon of olive oil to get the pesto mixing, do so.
Once your pesto is mixing and all the basil leaves are being ground into the oil, stop and add the nuts and cheese. Blend for another 30 seconds or so to incorporate and grind the nuts.
Taste your pesto, if it needs salt add a pinch, same with pepper, blend for 4 seconds, then taste again until you have the saltiness you prefer. You may not have to add any if you like it just seasoned with parmesan cheese.
Pesto should be a smooth paste that could be runny because once in the fridge for a few hours, it will solidify slightly because of the oils.
Remove pesto from blender into a sealable container, scrape as much of the pesto from your blender because it is going to be so delish.
Keep pesto at room temp if making the pork chop soon after. Otherwise keep in fridge.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Fresh Basil Pesto
5 ea. Sweet Potatoes
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Wash, then peel the potatoes. Cut into large slices. If any are very wide, cut in half lengthwise then cut into slices. Place in a large, (about 10 X 14inch) baking pan.
Drizzle the olive oil on the potatoes, along with the salt and pepper.
Using a spoon, gently toss the potatoes into the oil and salt and pepper.
Place in the oven. This will bake for 35 to 45 minutes, with you taking it out after 20 minutes to toss the potatoes more. This will get all the sides of potatoes caramelized.
The finished potatoes should be caramelized and browned and the potato inside soft.
Olive Oil Seared Zucchini
Healthy, ridiculously addictive, wonderfully sweet and really good for you.
This dish gets cooked at a medium hi heat so it needs stirring alot but cooks in like 8 - 10 minutes.
3 ea. Zucchini Squash (medium to large)
4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A few pinchs Salt
A couple pinches Ground Black Pepper
Wash, dry, then slice each zucchini into 1/2 inch slices.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil.
Add the zucchini and spread out so many flat sides of the zucchini touch the pan.
Let sear and get some caramelization before stirring of tossing the zucchini.
Add salt and pepper to your taste, and continue to brown the zucchini.
The zucchini will start getting dark on some sides. You want your zucchini to have a nice seared color, while getting slightly soft. After 10 minutes, remove from heat and serve.
Sage Brown Butter Pork Chop
Use a separate small pan to make the sage brown butter. It will come out cleaner and nicer flavor.
4 ea. Pork Rib or Loin Chops
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch Fresh Sage Leaves (about 25 - 30 small leaves)
3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
Season the pork chops with salt and pepper'
Heat up large saute pan or cast iron skillet on medium heat.
Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to pan, then the pork chops. Pan should not be too hot, you want a nice crust and cooked well inside.
Pork chop will take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook depending on thickness.
Sage Brown Butter
Pick the sage leaves off the stems. Keep the tiny leaves whole, slice the big ones into thin slices.
In a small saucepan, warm the butter to melt.
Add the sage leaves and keep pan warm so when pork chops, or any meat you serve with this sauce, are ready, you can make the brown butter.
When pork chops are done, heat the pan of butter and sage on medium high heat.
Once it starts boiling, gently swirl the pan or stir around the sage. The butter will start to brown, and it will turn to burned fast, so when you see the butter boiling and getting a little darker color, be ready to take it off the heat because it will keep cooking after you remove it from the stove.
Plating simple perfection
Plate the sweet potatoes then drizzle them with the Basil Pesto.
Place a pork chop leaning on the sweet potatoes, then drizzle them with the Sage Brown Butter and the crispy sage leaves.
Spoon a few sweet olive oil seared zucchini around the plate and you have this amazing all season dinner.