A warm weather staple for my family, this is really more a technique than a recipe: Douse grillable protein (pork chops, chicken thighs, fish filets, etc.) in pesto; let it chill out in the fridge for several hours; grill and enjoy! —Merrill Stubbs
2 hours 15 minutes
For the pesto
loosely packed baby arugula
loosely packed basil leaves
medium garlic scapes
fat clove garlic
grated parmesan cheese
fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil
For the pork
bone-in pork chops, about 1 1/2 inches thick
Combine the arugula, basil, garlic scapes, garlic, and parmesan in the bowl of a food processor. Zest and juice the lemon and add both, along with the salt and pepper.
Pulse the mixture several times, scraping down the sides of the bowl of the food processor once or twice in between pulses, until it's finely chopped.
With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Once the oil is added, continue processing until you have a smooth mixture, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary and set aside (if saving for later, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate; the pesto will keep for up to a week).
Put the pork chops in a bowl or shallow container and add 1/2 cup of pesto. Use your hands to thoroughly coat all sides of the pork with pesto. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 8.
About 30 minutes before you're ready to cook the pork chops, remove the container from the refrigerator. Heat your grill to medium-high.
Season both sides of the pork chops with a bit more salt (to taste) and grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, covering the grill to retain the heat. You're looking for pork chops that are cooked through but still a bit pink in the center. Don't be afraid to test one of the chops by cutting into the center with a sharp knife -- better for them to be perfectly cooked than perfect looking! Let the pork chops rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. I like to cut the pork into 1/2-inch thick slices and arrange them on a serving dish, then squeeze some lemon juice and drizzle a bit more olive oil over the top.