Delicata squash, as the name implies, has skin so tender you don't have to peel it and makes this dish just that much faster to prep. You can substitute butternut or acorn squash--just peel it (or buy butternut prechopped).
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
12 dried plums, pitted and halved
6 shallots, peeled and halved
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 delicata squash, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut loin pork chops
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups baby arugula
2 teaspoons lemon juice
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°. Place a jelly-roll pan in oven while it preheats.
Combine thyme, dried plums, shallots, garlic, and squash in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss to coat. Remove pan from oven. Arrange squash mixture in an even layer on pan. Return pan to oven; roast vegetables at 425° for 10 minutes.
While vegetables cook, sprinkle pork chops with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 2 pork chops; cook 3 minutes or until browned on one side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat procedure with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining pork chops. Remove squash mixture from oven, and place pork chops, browned side up, over vegetables; return to oven. Roast an additional 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and pork chops are desired degree of doneness.
Combine arugula, lemon juice, and remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large bowl; toss gently to combine. Divide arugula mixture among 4 plates. Top with pork chops and roasted squash mixture; pour any pan juices over the top.
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I grilled the chops on our Traeger and did not finish in the oven. Also, no delicata this time of year. Used butternut and it was delish - needed more oven time - 30 minutes with the garlic/plums added the last 15 minutes. Can't wait to try with the delicata in the fall. Hubby was wary of the greens but said it really worked here.
I found this lacking flavor, especially the pork chops. It cooked up very dry, so there weren't any pan juices to pour over for extra flavor, as indicated in the recipe, and it left some of the prunes dry and hard. While the roasted shallots were good, that wasn't enough to carry the dish. I had high hopes for this one but it was thoroughly disappointing. Won't make again.
I've made this a few times now and it always turns out great. I love the flavor of the roasted shallots with the pork, as well as the prunes and squash together. I've made it with butternut, acorn, and kabocha squash and our favorite has been the butternut squash.