Pork Chops with Roasted Kale and Walnut Pesto

This recipe makes more pesto than you will need, but the leftovers will not go to waste. Try adding a spoonful to scrambled eggs, mix with mayonnaise for a sandwich spread, toss with some hot pasta and pasta cooking water or even stir a bit into your favorite brothy soup.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Inactive: 5 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

1/2 small bunch kale (about 12 ounces)

3/4 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup walnut halves

4 center-cut bone-in pork chops, about 3/4 inch thick (2 pounds total)

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed with your fingers

1 small clove garlic, quartered

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Baked potato or soft polenta, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat the broiler. Strip the kale leaves from the tough stems and discard the stems. Toss the leaves on a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and spread them out in an even layer. Broil the greens, stirring once or twice until they turn a brighter green with bits of charred leaves, about 4 minutes. Stir in the walnuts and broil until the walnuts are fragrant but not burned, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Sprinkle both sides of the chops with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the rosemary. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 145 degrees F, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes. While the chops are cooking, pulse the garlic and the cooled kale and walnuts in a food processor until chopped. Add the pepper flakes, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil and continue to process to make a slightly chunky pesto. Adjust the consistency as desired with up to 1/4 cup water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top each pork chop with about 2 tablespoons of the pesto and serve with a baked potato or soft polenta.

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