Za'atar Rubbed Pork Chop
with cauliflower rice tabbouleh
Mediterranean-inspired flavors are the key to this simple, colorful meal. Tabbouleh is a fresh salad made with lots of parsley and finely diced vegetables. To lighten this version up and make it paleo-friendly, we use cauliflower rice instead of the traditional bulgur grain.
Smarts: We used thin-cut pork chops (2 / serving) in the photos. These are often sold pre-cut at the butcher’s counter and cook faster than thicker chops.
- Cauliflower florets - 10 oz (look for pre-chopped “riced" cauliflower from the produce or freezer section)
- Butter - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Pork chops, boneless or bone-in - 4
- Za'atar spice mix - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Shallots - 1 clove , diced
- Cucumbers - 8 oz , diced
- Tomatoes, medium - 1 , diced
- Parsley - 1 1/2 cups , chopped (curly leaf will hold up best, but flat leaf will also work)
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
- Cauliflower rice (ingredients listed separately) - 1 1/2 cups
Cauliflower rice - (Skip if cauliflower rice was made ahead for Monday.) Pulse florets in a food processor until broken up into ‘rice’-sized bits. Cook in one of two ways: 1) Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes and then fold in butter. Season with some salt and pepper; or 2) Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add butter. Saute cauliflower in heated butter for ~5 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Watch this video for the full how-to on cauliflower rice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Pork - Tenderize pork chops with a fork and cover on all sides with Za’atar. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Heat a skillet with cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add pork chops and sear on each side for ~3 minutes. For thin pork chops, this should be enough heat to cook them through. If you’re using thicker pork chops, lower heat and cover with a piece of foil until pork reaches 145F / 63C degrees.
Let pork chops rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
While pork chops rest, make tabbouleh by combining shallots, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, and cauliflower rice. Taste and season with some salt and pepper. Add an extra squeeze of lemon juice if you’d like the tabbouleh more tart.
Serve pork chops with tabbouleh on the side. Enjoy!