Pork chops can be an easy option to cook for dinner if you know how to pair and prep them correctly. I have never cooked a pork chop until this week. With two foreign parents and being from California, growing up our diets consisted of mediterranean style dishes, rice and fish. Pork chops were never on the menu. It’s only when I moved to Atlanta that I’ve even began to notice pork chops on restaurant menus and in home cooked dinner gatherings. It must be a southern thing I suppose.
When creating my dinner menu for the week, I try to incorporate a different protein every night. There may be two nights with chicken or beef, but all I really care about is variety, taste, and nutrition.
This Oven Pork Chop Pan Roast and Butternut Squash blew my mind away. It exceeded my expectations and is now my new favorite dish! The combination of the peppery leaves and the sweet butternut squash, along with roasted garlic bits and dried plums is incredible. Also, the meal was quick and easy to prep. Amazingly delicious food does not require lots of work or professionalism. With all this yapping about deliciousness, I should now let you be the judge of this meal.
I followed Cooking Light’s recipe to the “T”. For additional information, please see original recipe here.
1T Chopped fresh thyme leaves
12 Dried plums, pitted and halved
6 Shallots, peeled and halved
3 Garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 Butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
2T plus 1t olive oil, divided
1/2t salt, divided
4 Bone-in center-cut loin pork chops
1/4t Black pepper
3 Cups baby arugula
2t Lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Place a jelly-roll pan in oven while it preheats.
2. Combine thyme, dried plums, shallots, garlic, and squash in a large bowl.
3. Drizzle with 1T olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/4t salt; toss to coat.
4. Remove pan from oven. Arrange squash mixture in an even layer on pan.
5. Return pan to oven; roast vegetables at 425° for 10 minutes.
6. While vegetables cook, sprinkle pork chops with remaining 1/4t salt and pepper.
7. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2t oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 2 pork chops; cook 3 minutes or until browned on one side. Transfer to a plate.
8. Repeat procedure with 1 1/2t oil and remaining pork chops.
9. Remove squash mixture from oven, and place pork chops, browned side up, over vegetables; return to oven.
10. Roast an additional 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and pork chops are desired degree of doneness.
11. Combine arugula, lemon juice, and remaining 1t olive oil in a large bowl; toss gently to combine.
12. Divide arugula mixture among 4 plates. Top with pork chops and roasted squash mixture; pour any pan juices over the top.