Chipotle-Rubbed Pork Chops with Nectarine Salsa

Chipotle Pork Chops

When I shop for food, I use all my senses to guarantee the excellence of my ingredients. I pick everything up, visually inspect it, tap it, squeeze it, listen to it, and taste it. And oh yeah—I’m a self-professed “smeller.” I’m that person in the store you might catch deeply inhaling each specimen of seasonal produce for quality assurance. Passersby may stare, and maybe even giggle, but there’s nothing quite like the intoxicating aroma of perfectly ripe summer fruits. When my nostrils are bombarded as I walk past displays laden with heavenly scented products, it’s a surefire sign that the season is upon us. These aromas are at peak intensity during the summer months, when juicy berries, soft stone fruits, and plump melons start spilling over the shelves.

The other day, I found some nectarines that were sent from angels above. Here in Colorado we’re finally seeing our first glimpse of summer after weeks of incessant rain, so maybe that’s why I could smell them even when I was still ten feet away from the produce stall. I just knew I had to have some immediately, for my own sanity if anything. The scent screamed summer to me! I bought a dozen. And they tasted even better than they smelled.

When I’m not eating juicy summer fruits straight from my hand, I often incorporate them into my meals to really take advantage of the short season. This refreshing salsa pairs perfectly with the slightly smoky, spicy flavor of the chipotle peppers. It could be used as a base recipe for any type of ripe, seasonal fruit such as berries, plums, mango, or pineapple.

Chipotle-Rubbed Pork Chops with Nectarine Salsa

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus marinating time
Cook time: 20–25 minutes
Serves 2


For the pork chops:
2 well-marbled pork chops (about 8–12 ozs. each), cut 1¼-inches thick
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped, or ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons cilantro
Sea salt

For the salsa:
1 large nectarine, diced
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 pinch cumin
Salt and pepper

Special equipment: instant-read thermometer


  1. Place pork chops in a shallow dish. If using chipotle pepper, place it in a small bowl. Add lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, and a large pinch of salt. If using chipotle powder, add it now. Whisk, then pour over chops, turning to coat. If possible, marinate overnight in the fridge. Alternatively, marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or in the fridge for a few hours.
  2. When it’s almost time to cook the chops, combine all the salsa ingredients in a small bowl and let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes for flavors to meld.
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high, about 450°F. Turn off inside burners, but leave outer burners lit. Grill pork chops over unlit portion of grill, with the lid closed, until deeply browned on each side, about 20–25 minutes. It should read 145°F when checked with an instant-read thermometer. Transfer chops to a plate to rest for 5 minutes. Spoon salsa atop the chops before serving.


To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:

  • chemical- and hormone-free meat
  • wild-caught fish
  • pasture-raised, organic eggs
  • whole, unrefined grains
  • virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
  • whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
  • pure, clean, spring water
  • sea salt
  • raw and/or cultured milk and cream products

Briana Goodall, CPC

Briana Goodall is Chef and Owner of Green Cuisine Personal Chef Service. Visit her website at

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