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Bone-in Pork Chops with Harissa-Maple Roasted Carrots and Whipped Ricotta

This dinner is classic comfort food. I mean, is there anything better than a big old pork chop and sweet glazed carrots? But this meal is more than just classic comfort food, it’s sophisticated. This is a meal that’s done some traveling, learned a thing or two about itself, and has spent some time growing up. This is a meal you’d serve your parents to let them know you have your shit together but that you remember where you came from.


Serves: 2, with leftover carrots

Cost: $

Skill Level: Easy

Time to Make: 40 minutes (10 minutes inactive)


Roasted Carrots

12 whole carrots, greens trimmed

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon prepared harissa paste (If you can’t find harissa paste, you can omit or add a bit of crushed red pepper or cayenne powder to add a touch of heat)

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh minced parsley, optional, for garnish

Whipped Ricotta

4 ounces ricotta cheese, liquid drained

2 teaspoons heavy cream (more or less depending on your ricotta)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt, to taste

Maple-Lemon Dressing

2 teaspoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Pork Chops

2 big, thick bone-in pork chops

1 tablespoon butter, divided

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare Ingredients: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Pat the pork chops dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. Trim the greens from the carrots and scrub the dirt off with a paper towel.

Roast the Carrots: In a bowl, combine the olive oil, maple syrup, and harissa and whisk until smooth. Add the carrots to a roasting pan and toss them in the whisked harissa-maple oil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the carrots are fork tender, turning once halfway through cooking.

Prepare the Whipped Ricotta: In a food processor, combine the ricotta cheese, heavy cream, extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pulse until smooth and creamy. If the ricotta seems too thick, add a touch more heavy cream or extra virgin olive oil until your desired consistency is reached. The whipped ricotta should be spreadable. Set aside at room temperature until the carrots have finished roasting.

Prepare the Maple-Lemon Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk the maple syrup, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth. Set aside.

Cook the Pork Chops: During the last 15 minutes of the carrots roasting, prepare the pork chops. Add the vegetable oil to a large, oven-proof skillet and turn the heat to high. Once the oil is very hot and almost smoking, add the pork chops and cook, without moving, for 4 minutes. Flip and add 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the top of each chop. Transfer to the oven and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the thickest part of the chop closest to the bone reads 140ºF. Remove from the oven and rest for 5-10 minutes. Note: You may wish to cook your chop to the FDA’s previously recommended temperature, 165ºF. However, new guidelines recommend 145ºF. I recommend cooking to 140ºF and then resting the chop up to 145º. At this temperature, the pork is juicy and not dry.

To Serve: Add a smear of whipped ricotta to the plates. Arrange a few carrots on top of the whipped ricotta and place a pork chop on top of the carrots at an angle. Serve with a drizzle of the lemon-maple dressing and the minced fresh parsley, if desired.

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