Pork chops that are crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, bursting with the rich flavor of oregano and rosemary may sound like a strictly-weekend, multi-step affair. But Melia Marden, executive chef at New York restaurant The Smile and author of the new book Modern Mediterranean, shows us that it's totally doable in less than a half-hour.

Serves 4


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary (from 1 small bunch)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano (from 1 small bunch)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 bone-in pork rib chops, 1 inch thick
  • 2 heaping tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons, cut in half crosswise


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, combine the rosemary, oregano, garlic and 1/4 cup of the oil and mix well. Rub the mixture over both sides of each pork chop. (At this point you can set the chops aside to marinate while you prepare the rest of your meal, or marinate them in the refrigerator overnight. Bring them to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.)

Season both sides of the chops with salt (a heaping 1/4 tsp. per side) and a generous amount of pepper.

In a heavy-bottomed frying pan, preferably cast iron, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat until very hot, 1 to 2 minutes.

Place the pork chops in the pan and cook until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for about 3 minutes. If all the chops won't fit in your pan, work in batches.

Place the seared chops on the prepared baking sheet. Arrange the lemon halves around the chops and bake for 10 minutes. They should be just cooked through but still juicy and slightly pink. Let the chops rest for a few minutes.

Serve with the cooked lemon halves and squeeze them over the pork chops at the table.

From Modern Mediterranean by Melia Marden © Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2013.

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