• Grilled Pork Kalymnos-Style with Eggplant &Tomato Salad

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Greek Isle Grill

Two years ago, I spent a week on the Greek island of Kalymnos. This island is the real deal, you’ll find tiny taverns with octopus coming straight off the coal fire, hillside goat herders selling cheeses and yogurt, sponge divers still working the outer islands. One night before a shoot, several well-lubricated friends of our host made grilled pork and eggplant salad for the crew and me. It was one of the best meals of the trip; I still remember the smell of whole bunches of wild thyme, sage and rosemary being burned under the meat to flavor it.

Grilled Pork Kalymnos-Style with Eggplant &Tomato Salad

  • Servings: 6 to 8
  • Total: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus overnight marinating

Ingredients

Pork

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves, chopped
  • 3 pounds bone-in pork rib chops, cut 1/2 inch thick
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Salad

  • 2 large eggplants (about 2  1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large tomatoes—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons brined capers—drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for grilling
  • Grilled bread, for serving

Instructions

Prepare the Pork

In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, tarragon and thyme. Arrange the pork chops in a large baking dish and pour the marinade on top; turn to coat each chop thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Make the Salad

Preheat the broiler. Prick the eggplants all over with a fork. Set them on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Broil 6 inches from the heat, turning the eggplants every 5 minutes, until very soft and lightly charred, about 25 minutes. Let cool. Peel the eggplants and cut the flesh into 1/2-inch dice. Transfer to a colander set in a large bowl and let drain until completely cool. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a food processor, pulse the parsley, scallions, oregano and garlic until finely chopped. Fold the mixture into the eggplant. Add the vinegar, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 cup of oil and toss well. Fold in the tomatoes and capers and season with salt and pepper.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Scrape the marinade off the pork. Season the chops with salt and pepper. Brush the grill grates with vegetable oil and grill the pork chops over moderately high heat until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Let the chops rest for 5 minutes. Serve the pork with the eggplant salad and grilled bread.

MAKE AHEAD The eggplant salad can be refrigerated overnight.

Originally published in Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on foodandwine.com.
Photograph by Stephanie Meyer

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