Weather Updates

Ramped Up Pork Chops

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

This simple, satisfying plate was featured in our debut “Low Mileage Kitchen” column, and what better way to highlight ramps, one of the first signs of spring in Chicago?


4 (1-inch) thick bone-in pork chops

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons Spice House Butcher’s Rub seasoning

4 green garlic shoots or thin scallions

1 bunch ramps (at least 20 shoots)

2 strips bacon, cut into thin slivers


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

3 cups baby greens

1 small cucumber, cut lengthwise into quarters, then sliced crosswise into

1/2 -inch pieces

1/2 cup applesauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Trim any extra fat from pork chops. Rub very lightly with some of the olive oil and sprinkle seasoning on both sides. Wash and trim root ends from green garlic shoots and ramps, then cut in half.

Place a (10-inch) oven-proof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat and add remaining oil. When pan is hot, add chops and cook without turning for 3 minutes, or until underside is nicely browned. Remove chops from pan to a plate.

Add bacon and bulbs of garlic shoots and ramps to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is browned and vegetables are tender. Stir in green tops of garlic shoots and ramps, and continue to cook another minute until green tops are just beginning to wilt.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lay chops on top of greens, browned side up, adding any juices which may have accumulated on the plate.

Place pan into preheated oven for 8 minutes, or until chops reach an internal temperature of 170 degrees on a meat thermometer.

While pork is cooking, make the salad: In bottom of a large bowl, combine oil, vinegar and syrup and stir well with a fork. Toss with greens and cucumbers. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve pork with salad and a small spoonful of applesauce on the side. Its sweetness will balance the peppery flavor of the spices and complement the pork.

Chicago’s Downtown Farmstand

(Ran May 12)

Nutrition facts per serving: 444 calories, 32 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 90 mg cholesterol, 11 g carbohydrates, 27 g protein, 382 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.