Pork over Couscous with Pistachio-Lemon Vinaigrette
Here is a stunning "restaurant dish" (that's actually a full meal) you can whip up in your own kitchen. While it contains a cornucopia of ingredients, stealth techniques make it radically simple and radically delicious. Use genuine Dijon mustard from France for the best flavor. The pistachios can be ground in a spice grinder, coffee grinder, or mini food processor.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons pistachios, finely ground
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked couscous
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, pistachios, and next 5 ingredients (through mustard) in a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon garlic and 1/8 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk.
2. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and couscous. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Rub pork with remaining 1 teaspoon garlic. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pork from pan; keep warm. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil and tomatoes to pan; cook 5 minutes or until skins blister, shaking pan occasionally. Sprinkle with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir tomatoes and parsley into couscous; divide couscous mixture evenly among 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 pork chop and about 2 tablespoons vinaigrette.
Rozanne Gold is a four-time James Beard award-winning chef and author of the 1-2-3 cookbook series and Radically Simple: Brilliant Flavors with Breathtaking Ease.