Resembling a traditional pesto, this filling in these pork chops includes sweet raisins and fresh herbs for a sweet-and-savory Mediterranean-like flavor.
• 6 center-cut, bone-in pork loin chops (1-1/4 inches to 1-1/2 inches thick)
• 1/2 cup fresh mint
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley
• 1/3 cup fresh tarragon
• 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano (1/4 oz.)
• 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
• 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
• 1/3 cup golden raisins
• 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. With a sharp knife, make a horizontal slit in each pork chop to create a 3-1/2-inch-long pocket. In a food processor, combine the mint, parsley, tarragon, pecorino, 3 Tbs. of the oil, the garlic, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Pulse until finely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the pine nuts and pulse until the nuts are roughly chopped. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup pine nuts and the raisins. Season the insides of the pockets with salt and pepper and stuff with the filling. Secure the pockets with toothpicks. Season the outside of the meat generously with salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Sear 3 of the pork chops on both sides until well browned, about 6 minutes total; transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and the remaining pork chops. Top each chop with a piece of butter and roast in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork chops registers 145°F, 10 to 12 minutes. Discard the toothpicks and serve drizzled with the pan juice.
Make a fresh salad and Classic Roasted Potatoes to serve with the chops.