Grilled Pork or Portabella with Strawberry Fennel Salsa

The fennel and strawberries go ridiculously well together and taste good on top of almost anything savory. We like to serve it on grilled pork but it also works well with grilled portabellas and, however it is served, the salsa looks good on a plate.

Grilled Pork or Portabella with Strawberry and Fennel Salsa Recipe

Makes 4 servings

1 lb fennel (sometimes called anise), stalks cut off and discarded
1 1/2 cups diced strawberries
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
salt to taste

4 (3/4 to 1-inch-thick) pork chops or 4 large portabella mushroom caps
5 tablespoons vegetable oil

Halve fennel bulb lengthwise and core it, then cut into 1/4-inch dice. Toss the fennel in a bowl with strawberries, scallions, cilantro, vinegar, honey, and salt.

Grilling Chops:
Prepare grill for cooking. If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom of grill, then light charcoal. Charcoal fire is medium-hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill rack for 3 to 4 seconds. If using a gas grill, preheat burners on high, covered, 10 minutes, then reduce heat to moderate.

Pat pork chops dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill pork chops on lightly oiled grill rack, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over once, until cooked through. Transfer chops to a plate and serve topped with the salsa. Garnish with parsley

Grilling Portabellas:
Still prepare grill with medium-high heat. Brush oil evenly over both sides of mushrooms and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill mushrooms until they're tender, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Place mushrooms, gill side up, on plates and spoon salsa into mushrooms. Garnish with parsley.

This is the summer version of a favorite pomegranate recipe. We substituted fresh strawberries from one of our favorite local farmers. (Not only does Woolf Farms sell delicious strawberries, they also wear lots of Ohio State apparel! They're mentioned in this post about the Shaker Square Farmers' Market.)

The fennel we used came from Salash Farm, which also sells produce at the Shaker Square Farmers' Market.

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