08 June 2008
Pork with Balsamic-Basil Macerated Strawberries, Parmesan Risotto and Tomato with Caciocavollo
So this. This is a pork dish that sounded so interesting to me the first time I saw the recipe. It's a Rachael Ray recipe that she calls Columbus's Chops or something along those lines because the recipe is a take on a recipe that goes back to the 1400s.
Like all Rachael Ray's foods, it was quick and easy to make - the sliced strawberries sit in a balsamic vinegar bath with some torn up basil while you cook the pork, and then you mound them on top of the meat and eat. Easy as anything. It tasted really wonderful as well - I wasn't totally sold on the idea of strawberries on pork, but pork does really well with other fruits, so it's not surprising really that strawberries work as well. And then, too, the balsamic vinegar somehow pulls out the most amazing sweetness from the berries. It's like eating a whole different sort of fruit.
The risotto, I'm only minorly ashamed to admit, came from a box. Lundberg has a couple 25 minute risottos and this is my favourite of the two I've tried. It's probably a bit heavy go with something as delicate and lovely as the strawberries and pork, but I didn't have any other white rice, so I made it anyway.
And finally, the tomatoes and cheese. Another very simple side dish - just sliced tomatoes with a little salt on them, layered with sliced smoked Caciocavollo cheese, then topped with fresh grated black pepper and a quick drizzle of olive oil. The cheese is amazing with just a hint of pepper and oil.