Welcome to On Board in 20: a recipe series where we share wholesome, family-style meals you can prepare in about 20 minutes. The recipes always contain whole food ingredients and are intended to be brought to the table for family members to build and construct their individual plates as their senses guide them. Along the way, we bring you tips and tricks for speeding up prep and clean up for those busy weeknight meal times.
Move over sriracha, there's a new condiment in town! It's time to add harissa to your pantry. Harissa is a blend of roasted chili peppers, garlic, oil and spices like cumin and coriander. It's such a fantastic way to add a rich, deep flavor to a dish in a short period of time (not unlike how jarred roasted red peppers gave our 20-minute lentil stew a boost last month). There's no doubt this sauce is the star of this month's 20-minute meal of rib chops with broccoli tabbouleh. I chose a mild version and added a little extra honey for my little eater at the table, but you could easily go spicier for an extra kick.
Tabbouleh is traditionally a vegetarian salad made primarily of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, onion and bulgur. In this 20-minute meal we've swapped out the bulgur for quinoa, which gives this meal the added bonus of being gluten free. You could easily substitute couscous for the quinoa as well for an even quicker cooking time. The broccoli is barely blanched before processing and boosts the vegetable content of the side dish. The mint is a pretty important element in this salad. Although there's only a small amount, it makes a difference in the final product.
As with most of our 20-minute meals, the order of execution is important. My kettle boils 1.5 litres of water in about five minutes, so this always goes on first. This is enough time to get my pots on the stove and preheating, and get out most of my ingredients. You don’t need to worry too much about the ratio of quinoa to water; just be generous with the water and you can always drain out the excess.
And one final tip: set the timer once the pork chops go down because four minutes goes by fast, and it's pretty amazing what you can accomplish while they sizzle away. This dinner finishes beautifully with a squeeze of lemon and whatever fresh greens you may have on hand.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 4 cups broccoli, roughly chopped
- 4 fast fry pork chops (thin cut)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2.5 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Large bunch of parsley (about 1 cup)
- Small bunch of mint (about ⅓ cup)
- ¼ sweet white onion
- 1 lemon
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons harissa
- 1.5 tablespoons honey
- Garnish: pea sprouts, alfalfa sprouts
- Preheat pots: Start a kettle with 1.5L of water. Start two medium-sized pots on medium heat. Start a cast iron griddle pan on medium heat.
- Add rinsed quinoa to one medium size pot.
- Roughly chop 4 cups broccoli and put in the other medium pot.
- Once kettle boils, pour enough water over quinoa to cover plus a little more (about two cups); reduce heat to low and put a lid on it.
- Pour remaining water over broccoli and put lid on it.
- Meanwhile, once cast iron grill is hot, put pork chops on, season one side with garam masala, 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper. They will take about 4 minutes on one side and 2 on the other.
- While pork chops are cooking, in food processor blitz parsley and mint. Then add onion and blitz again. Drain broccoli, add to the processor and blitz a final time. Scoop out mixture into a bowl and add remaining salt and the juice of ½ lemon. Quarter cherry tomatoes and add to mixture. Drain quinoa and add to broccoli mixture. Stir to combine and set aside.
- In a small bowl, add harrisa and honey and mix well.
- To plate, put tabbouleh on board, line up pork chops next and drizzle with harrisa honey sauce.
- Optional garnish: alfalfa sprouts, pea shoots and remaining lemon.
Looking for More 20-Minute Meal Ideas?
- Vegetarian Lentil Chili Board
- Soy-Glazed Salmon, Veggies and Rice Noodles
- Sticky Greek Chicken and Cauliflower Couscous
Lisa Bolton is the creator, writer and photographer behind Food Well Said, her blog about bringing thoughtfully prepared, whole food recipes. She lives in the Lower Mainland of BC and you can reach her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.