belated valentine’s dinner: brined pork chop, watercress, arugula, fried chickpeas, parmesan, garlic, lemon, olive oil, chili flakes.
Mix together enough 4% (by weight) salt water solution to submerge your pork chops. Whisk in a few tablespoons of sugar, to taste. Brine the chops for 30-60 minutes, depending on their thickness.
Briefly rinse the brined chops and pat them very dry. Brush them with oil and season them very lightly with salt. Sear on both sides in a super-hot skillet (I used cast iron) or on a grill. Finish in a 350˚F oven until the internal temperature is 145˚F. Allow the chops to rest for 5 minutes before plating.
Meanwhile, make about 8 oz (half a standard can) of fired chickpeas, as described here.
Make a salad dressing with a 2:3 ratio of lemon juice and good olive oil. (Yes, this is a very tart dressing, but it will mingle with the fat and juices of the pork.) Season the dressing with minced garlic, chili flakes, and salt.
Toss together equal amounts cleaned and dried arugula and watercress with some finely grated parmesan. Dress the greens lightly with the dressing. Mix in some fired chickpeas.
Strew the salad over the pork. Top with more fried chickpeas and curls of parmesan.