This year for Mother's Day, Jeff's daughter, Kristen, gave me a cookbook called Summer Food by Paul Lowe, Nina Dreyer Hensley and Jim Hensley. It is such a great recipe book because it uses, for the most part, summer fruits and vegetables. That is perfect for me since walking out to our garden and picking the ingredients for the recipe is so easy.
During the winter, Jeff and I look up recipes before we head to the grocery store so we can plan our meals for the week. We, like many people, suffer from the "what are we having for dinner tonight? I don't care, whatever you want" syndrome. It takes the stress out of deciding what to make when we get home after a long day.
I pulled out the Summer Food cookbook and looked at a few of the recipes - BBQ Chicken looked tasty as did the Grilled Greek Kebab, but then I saw the Pork Chops with Balsamic Figs. Ah, my weakness...FIGS. I have never been one to eat fresh figs, but I LOVE them. Fig Newtons, Fig Squares, Fig and Arugula Pizza, Fig Jam, Fig Sauces...I think you get it. So, I picked that recipe along with another for a spicy hamburger.
Off to the grocery store and when I got home I realized I bought dried figs instead of fresh. Truthfully, the dried figs worked fine. It also called for balsamic vinegar but we were out so I went to our flavored balsamic vinegars. The peach flavored vinegar paired well with the figs. With four ingredients the figs were cooked, within 10 minutes, and ready to go.
So, I have to tell you, the figs were DELICIOUS! They were so good, I am planning to use this same recipe to create a jam to spread on one of our favorite fig, goat cheese and prosciutto pizza. You could actually use this as a topping on ice cream...that's how good it was. Oh, and the pork chops paired perfectly.
If you are someone who likes a sweet sauce with your pork chops, this combination is delicious. Easy and light, it's perfect summer dish.
Grilled Pork Chops with Balsamic Figs
- 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar, we used a peach flavored balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 10 dried figs, cut in half
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 large pork chops, it calls for boneless, but we used bone in
- olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper for taste
1. Light your grill and get it ready for the pork chops.
2. In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, add the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil.
3. Then add the figs and bay leaf. reduce heat to medium low. Stir occasionally until the mixture reduces and has a thick consistency, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Rub the 4 pork chops with olive oil. Season with the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
5. Place pork chops in center of hot grill and cook 4-5 minutes on each side. Pork temperature should be 140 degrees.
6. Remove from grill, transfer to plates and serve with the balsamic figs.
Side note: You can grill nectarines and peaches so easily.
1. Cut fruit, brush lightly with oil so they won't stick to the grill.
2. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
3. Remove from grill and add some flavor with honey, balsamic vinegar, walnuts and/or goat cheese.
Our nectarines have a drizzle of honey and balsamic vinegar.