As far as summers go, mine was pretty much how I like it – not too hot. But even so I am ready for my favorite season, fall. In case your interested my seasons rank: fall, spring, winter, summer. I know. Who else ranks summer last? I can’t help it, I hate heat. The only heat I like comes from hot peppers!
If you want fall on a plate, this is it! It’s the perfect transition from summer to fall – a little bit of grilling to say good bye to summer and little bit of roasting to say hello to fall. I know that I could have also grilled the sweet potato salsa, but I actually like letting the oven do the work on those while I fired up the grill and prepped the pork chops.
I found this recipe in Fresh Every Day: More Great Recipes from Foster's Market by Sara Foster. The cookbook was published in 2005, and appears to be out of print, but you can find it used on Amazon. I highly recommend it, everything I’ve cooked from it has been wonderful: Rosemary Mint Lamb Chops, Apple and Avocado Salad with Mint, and Sweet Basil Vinaigrette.
This salsa was amazing. It was perfect atop a simple grilled pork chop. She suggests using it either as a side dish (it’s very substantial) or atop eggs, tostadas, quesadillas or grilled steak or chicken.
For the pork chops, I did a quick brine, 2 hours. Now, I realize two hours may not seem quick to you, but that’s as opposed to an overnight brine. I brined them in one quart of water, 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar – put all that in a ziplock bag and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. When done, remove from bag, pat dry and grill over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per side (mine were fairly thin).
Roasted Sweet Potato Salsa
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tomato, cored and chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
2 scallions, minced (green and white part)
2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
Juice and zest of 1 large lime (about 2 Tbsp)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a bowl, toss together the sweet potatoes, olive oil, vinegar, chili powder and cumin. Spread in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.
Roast in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until the potatoes are browned and tender. Remove and set them aside to cool, while you mix the rest of the salsa.
In a bowl toss together the tomato, red pepper, jalapeno, scallion, cilantro and lime juice and zest Add the cooled sweet potatoes and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.
Makes 3 1/4 cups
By Pam Greer