Over the weekend a few friends came over for a barbecue.  Barbecueing is nice as you get to sit around, bs, drink, and have a good time.  Macheesmo brought over some fresh pork chops from the farmer’s market near his house.  So we decided to make a pesto pork chop.  On the side I wanted to grill some veggies.  So I went to the market and found yellow squash, zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and some red onion.  It was an awesome combination.

Grilled Pesto Pork Chops
Grilled Pesto Pork Chops

Jeff brought Margaritas so I forgot to take a lot of pictures.  Sorry.

Pesto Pork Chops

  • 4 Pork Chops
  • 1.5 cups Fresh Basil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 3-5 cloves garlic – depends on how much garlic you like
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Grilled Vegetables

  • 2 yellow squash
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 red onions
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 fresh herbs (whatever you have growing, I had basil, parsley and rosemary)
  • salt and pepper

First wash and slice the veggies.  Cut the squash, zucchini and eggplant into 3/4 inch slices.  Next cut the tomatoes and the onion into 1 inch slices.  Finally core and quarter the bell pepper.

Nice selection of veggies and herbs
Nice selection of veggies and herbs

In a large bowl combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped herbs, salt and pepper.  Mix well then add the vegetables.  Let marinade for at least 30 minutes.  Great if you can do it for up to 4 hours.

Make sure to stir the marinade so that all of the veggies are coated.
Make sure to stir the marinade so that all of the veggies are coated.

Time for the pesto.  I used some fresh basil from my urban garden.

The basil was amazing.
The basil was amazing.

In a food processor (or maybe a blender, not too sure) add the basil and pine nuts.  Chop until well combined.  Next add the cheese and garlic.  Quickly pulse.

Add cheese and garlic

Next turn on the food processor and start by drizzling 1/4 cup of olive oil into the machine.  As it spins it will thicken and become a paste.  The next part is up to you.  If you like your pesto thick, don’t add too much more oil, if you like it a little thinner, add as much oil as you like.

Add as much oil as you like.
Add as much oil as you like.

Place the pork chops in a zip top bag and marinate them in the pesto for 30 minutes.

To grill the veggies, preheat the grill to medium heat.  Place the veggies in a single layer and let them get a little color.

Place on the grill over medium heat
Place on the grill over medium heat

When you start seeing them get a little color it is time to flip.

Look at the perfect grill lines
Look at the perfect grill lines

Not all of the veggies will cook for the same amount of time. The tomatoes will take the least amount of time.   The onions and green peppers may take a little longer.  To check the squash, eggplant and zucchini, check the softness before removing.  All three should be soft to the touch, but not falling apart.

Space them out over the whole grill
Space them out over the whole grill

Remove, let cool, chop into bite size pieces and serve.  They are best served slightly warm or even cold.

To grill the pork chops place them over a medium high flame.  Make sure to preheat the grill.  You want nice grill lines as the carmelization adds great flavor.

Grilled Pesto Pork Chops
Grilled Pesto Pork Chops

These chops were 3/4-1 inch thick and took about 6-7 minutes on each side.

Grilled and ready to eat
Grilled and ready to eat

The easiest way to check for doneness is to use a probe thermometer and check for an internal temperature of 170 degrees Farenheit or 71 degrees Celsius.  While these are the well done temperatures, pork can be cooked to medium at 160 degrees Farenheit or 70.1 degrees Celsius.

Let the pork rest for a couple minutes before serving.  Serve the pork with the grilled vegetables.

By this time in the day I put my camera safely away so that I would not break it.  Jeff makes a pretty strong drink.

Enjoy!!

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

3 Comments

  1. This was a good time. Some other notes… Rex is prepared for any weather situation. It started raining really hard and he pulled out a full sized tent that fit perfectly over the grill and us.

    Awesome.

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