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Add a touch of Tuscany to your dinner table

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Add a touch of Tuscany to your dinner table

A recipe that is ideal for any occasion, from weeknight meals to Sunday suppers to get-togethers with friends, can be hard to come by. Tuscan Brined Pork Chops with Salsa Verde is a near-perfect answer for all of these occasions.

Created by food blogger Karen Tedesco of the popular blog FamilyStyle Food, this recipe was inspired by her visit to Vinci, Italy, where she experienced the people and the place behind the cooperative of more than 200 growers who work together to produce DaVinci Chianti.  

Tedesco found natural herbs, including bay laurel, lavender and rosemary, growing all over the Tuscan countryside. As Tedesco explains, these are classic and delicious seasonings for thick cut pork chops with flavors that pair perfectly with a well-balanced glass of Chianti.

Tuscan Brined Pork Chops with Salsa Verde

Pork chops ingredients:

4 thick-cut pork rib chops (1 1/2 inches) 9 - 10 ounces each

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 crushed garlic cloves

4 crumbled bay leaves

2 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped, plus 1 tablespoon chopped

2 dried red chili peppers, crumbled

Zest of one lemon, peeled with a vegetable peeler

Freshly ground black pepper

Salsa Verde Ingredients:

1 cup Italian parsley leaves

1 cup arugula

1 cup cilantro leaves

1 clove garlic

2 teaspoons salt-preserved capers, rinsed

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt

Directions:

Put the pork chops in a gallon size freezer bag and place the bag in a large bowl. In another large bowl whisk the salt and sugar with 6 cups water until dissolved. Add the garlic, bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, chili and lemon zest. Pour the brine over the pork. Seal bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill. Remove chops from brine and pat dry. Place chops on the grill and cook 4 minutes per side. They should be nicely browned and register between 135 - 140 degrees on a meat thermometer.

Loosely cover the chops with foil and let rest 5 minutes. Season with black pepper to taste and sprinkle with chopped rosemary; serve with Salsa Verde.

To make Salsa Verde, pulse parsley, arugula and cilantro in a food processor until chopped. Add garlic, capers, olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and pulse until combined. Taste and season with additional salt if desired.

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