The health benefits of pomegranates have been well publicized, and the antioxidant power of these seeds combined with the butternut’s lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin carotenoids make the relish a health powerhouse. Beta-cryptoxanthin is currently being investigated for its anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting properties (“Beyond Pumpkin” 6). Fennel contains a significant amount of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which might help our bones stay strong (“10 Healthy Foods” 73-74). While pan-frying is not the healthiest cooking method, all of the health benefits in the relish help offset the potential downside to a slightly caramelized chop.
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 rib eye pork chops
Fall vegetable relish:
1 cup butter squash, small diced
1 cup fennel bulb, small diced
1 teaspoon shallot, minced
½ cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup Pink Lady apple, small diced
Salt, to taste
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
-Place the pork chops with the marinade ingredients in a plastic bag. Move the ingredients around to evenly mix the marinade. Set in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, start the vegetable relish:
1. Preheat the oven to 380 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place the diced butternut and fennel on a sheet tray. Sprinkle a little olive oil and salt on them, and place the sheet tray in the oven.
3. Cook the diced vegetables for about 22-24 minutes, or until they are just cooked through. Check them often to ensure that they are not overcooked. Once the vegetables are cooked, set them aside to cool.
4. While the fennel and butternut cook, small dice the apple and mince the shallot.
5. Place the diced Pink Lady apple and minced shallot in the teaspoons of lemon juice. Let the shallot and apple macerate for about 20 minutes while you cook the pork chops.*
6. Mix all of the slaw ingredients together, including the olive oil and salt. Check the mix for seasoning, and adjust with lemon juice and salt as necessary.
Cook the pork chops:
1. Heat a stainless steel pan to high.
2. Remove the pork chops from the marinade and remove any excess oil that clings to the chops.
3. Season the chops with salt and a crack of pepper.
4. Once the pan is hot, place a little olive or grape seed oil in the pan.
5. Place the chops in the pan and move them around until a slight crust forms, which will prevent them from sticking to the pan. Turn the heat to medium to medium-low, and cook the chops for 4 minutes on each side. A brick-red crust should form on each side of the chop.
7. Once the chops are cooked but still slightly pink in the center, place them on a plate and loosely tent aluminum over them. Let the chops rest for about 8 minutes.
8. Once the chops have rested, place them on a serving plate and spoon the slaw over the chops.
9. Garnish with a light dusting of the chopped fennel fronds.
"Beyond Pumpkin: Harvest The Health Benefits Of Winter Squash." Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 32.9 (2014): 6. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 5 Nov. 2016.
"10 Healthy Foods.” Prevention. 68.8 (2016): 70-79. Health Source - Consumer Edition. Web. 5 Nov. 2016.