Roasted Fennel-Crusted Chops with Fennel and Beet Slaw and Fresh Ricotta

This combination of flavors and textures makes for a deliciously different dinner.


  • 4 thick pork shoulder chops or bone-in rib chops (1 1/2-inches each)
  • 4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for rubbing pork chops
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon oregano or marjoram
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced by hand or with mandoline
  • 2 small fresh beets, any color, washed and very thinly sliced by hand or with mandoline
  • 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup citrus sections, oranges or grapefruit
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • Crusty bread, such as ciabatta


Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

Pat the chops dry and rub with EVOO. Combine the dried seasonings in a small bowl. Season the chops liberally with salt and pepper, then apply the spice crust to both sides. Arrange in a cast iron pan or other roasting dish; roast for 30-35 minutes, until the crust is crisp and the pork cooked through.

Meanwhile, combine the sliced fennel, beets and onion and coat with lemon juice and EVOO. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine the fresh ricotta with the thyme, salt and pepper

Remove the chops from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Add the bread to the oven and warm.

Add the citrus fruit sections to the slaw salad.

Serve the chops with the pan juice over top with the the fennel salad with citrus alongside and mounds of fresh ricotta to mix into the slaw or slather on the warm bread.

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