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Grilled Pork Chops with Caramelized Peaches and Basil

This is the quintessential dish for warm nights when you feel like grilling outside. Sirloin chops are a little tougher than loin or rib chops, but they have an intense pork flavor. The chops are paired with two summer staples: sweet, ripe peaches and peppery fresh basil. Tossing the peaches with a touch of maple syrup before grilling helps caramelize them, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar adds a welcome acidic bite.

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in pork loin or end-loin chops, each about 9 oz. and 3/4 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
  • Olive oil for brushing, plus 2 tsp.  
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 2 peaches, quartered and pitted 
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup 
  • 2 to 3 tsp. good-quality balsamic vinegar 
  • Small fresh basil leaves for garnish 

Directions:

Remove the pork chops from the refrigerator and let stand for 30 minutes.

Brush the chops very lightly with olive oil, and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. In a bowl, combine the peaches, maple syrup and the 2 tsp. olive oil. Season with pepper and toss to coat evenly. Set aside.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill, or preheat a cast-iron grill pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat.

Place the chops on the grill rack over the hottest part of the fire or in the grill pan and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Move the chops to a cooler part of the grill or reduce the heat and cook until the pork is firm and cooked through but not dry, 3 to 4 minutes more per side. Place the peaches over direct heat and sear, turning with tongs, until the cut sides are golden, 30 to 60 seconds total.

Transfer the chops and peaches to a platter and drizzle sparingly with the vinegar. Garnish with basil leaves and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma The Cook and The Butcher, by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, Inc., 2011).