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Za'atar Pork Chops with Harissa Tomato Sauce
and baby kale salad

Active: 40 Total: 40

From a za'atar spice rub to a drizzle of smoky harissa tomato sauce, this flavor-packed meal borrows inspiration from a few delicious culinary traditions.
Smarts: Harissa can vary widely from mild to very spicy. We tested the sauce with mild harissa and used a large portion to add flavor. If your harissa is on the spicy side (or isn't labeled for any particular spice level), start with a small amount and increase to taste.



Za'atar Pork Chops with Harissa Tomato Sauce:
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
  • Onions, medium - 1/2 , diced
  • Pork chops, boneless or bone-in - 4
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp
  • Za'atar - 1 Tbsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Paprika, smoked - 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon, ground - pinch of
  • Tomato paste - 4 Tbsp
  • Harissa, mild - 1 to 2 Tbsp , adjust to taste, especially if using a spicy harissa
  • Water - 3/4 cup
Lemony Baby Kale Salad:
  • Cucumbers - 8 oz , chopped
  • Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
  • Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Baby kale - 8 oz


  1. Garlic / Onions - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Pork chops - Coat pork chops on both sides with first portion of cooking oil and then season with za'atar, salt, and pepper (portions for pork chops). Tenderize with a fork. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

  3. Cucumbers - Chop cucumbers. 

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  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper (portions for salad). Add baby kale and cucumbers on top but wait to toss it until right before serving. Set aside while pork cooks.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add second portion of cooking oil. 

  3. When oil is hot, add pork chops and sear, ~3 minutes per side. Cover the pan with a lid or foil and cook for another 3 to 6 minutes (depending on thickness), until they reach 145F / 63C degrees. (Watch the pork chops closely and reduce the heat as needed to be sure the spice blend doesn't burn.)

  4. Set pork chops aside, covered to keep warm. Return skillet to heat.

  5. If the skillet looks dry, add some additional oil and then the onions. Saute onions until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.

  6. To onions add garlic, paprika, cinnamon, tomato paste, and harissa. Cook for 1 minute. Add water while whisking to combine. Simmer until sauce is thick but still pourable, 2 to 4 minutes more. Taste and season with some salt and pepper.

  7. Slice pork and spoon sauce over top. 

  8. Toss salad.

  9. Serve pork with salad on the side. Enjoy!



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