If you think eating out tastes better than eating at home, you may want to rethink that belief after tasting this meal. Though the name sounds fancy and complicated, this recipe is a classic example of a restaurant-style meal that could not be much easier, faster, or tastier to make at home…and, of course, cheaper!
First, start by grinding the pistachios using a mini food processor or coffee grinder. Next, mix up the vinaigrette. Start cooking the couscous around the same time you begin cooking the pork, and you’ll have a delicious dinner on the table in way less than an hour! Paired with a side of roasted asparagus or steamed green beans, you could enjoy this healthy meal any night of the week.
My favorite part of this dish is the pistachio-lemon vinaigrette. I have no idea who thought to mix such random ingredients together, but they all work together to make one delicious vinaigrette. I would pour this vinaigrette over chicken or fish, steamed vegetables, or maybe even a pasta salad. It’s that good.
One note about the recipe below…Bret is not crazy about the grape tomatoes in the couscous, so I often leave them out of our recipe. The tomatoes add nice flavor to the couscous, but I don’t miss them too much when they’re not included. We always have another veggie on the side anyway!
Sidenote: Lucy apparently loved the pork chops…I turned to wash my hands after touching the raw pork, and as soon as I turned back around, Lucy was licking her lips and one of the pork chops was missing. After raving about this recipe, you can imagine I was sad about having one less pork chop for leftovers later in the week!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do…let me know what you think!
Pork over Couscous with Pistachio-Lemon Vinaigrette
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 2 tablespoons pistachios, finely ground
• 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
• 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
• 2 teaspoons maple syrup
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
• 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 1 cup uncooked couscous
• 4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 pint grape tomatoes
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, pistachios, and next 5 ingredients (through mustard) in a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon garlic and 1/8 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk.
2. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and couscous. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Rub pork with remaining 1 teaspoon garlic. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.
4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil and tomatoes to pan; cook 5 minutes or until skins blister, shaking pan occasionally. Sprinkle with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir tomatoes and parsley into couscous; divide couscous mixture evenly among 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 pork chop and about 2 tablespoons vinaigrette.
Source: Cooking Light, May 2012