It's all about textures here: crisp carrot slices, hearty pork and chickpeas, and delicate herbs. Make sure to use very fresh mint--it really makes a difference--and get the pan ripping hot before you add the chops; that's what will give them their nice brown crust.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon harissa*
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
2 carrots, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas (garbanzos), drained and rinsed
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
6 large fresh mint leaves, chopped
4 bone-in or boneless pork chops (1/2 to 3/4 in. thick)
1/2 to 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
How to Make It
Whisk together lemon juice, zest, honey, harissa, and cumin in a medium bowl. Add 1/4 cup oil and season with salt and pepper. Add carrots, chickpeas, parsley, and mint and toss until well combined. Set aside.
Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy stainless steel or cast-iron skillet, large enough to hold chops in a single layer, over medium-high heat until very hot, about 5 minutes. Swirl in remaining 2 tbsp. oil. Add pork chops and sear, without moving, until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn over and cook until just cooked through, 1 to 3 minutes, depending on thickness of chops.
Spoon half of carrot and chickpea salad onto a platter. Arrange pork chops on top and spoon remaining salad over them. Sprinkle with chile slices.
*North African chile-spice paste; available at well-stocked grocery stores.
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