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Pork chops with apricot and feta salad. [Photographs: Yasmin Fahr]

I've always thought that summer cooking should be about balancing light and seasonal foods with something hearty for a well-rounded meal. While I'm a huge fan of grains, in warmer weather I find that meats call for a lighter pairing, such as, says, a fresh fruit-filled salad.

To keep things simple, I toss the salad ingredients—the mixed greens, sweet apricot slices, feta, and dressing—in a serving bowl, then place the pan-roasted pork chops on top. Just set it on the table and dig in.

I like boneless chops for quick recipes—since there's no bone, the cooking time is reduced. To add interest to the mild-flavored meat, I add a dry spice rub that I mix with freshly grated ginger for an extra jolt of flavor.

Pork and fruit are a common pairing, and while peaches were my first inclination, fuzzy and vibrant orange apricots ultimately caught my attention. Their sweetness balances well with both the spice rub and the tangy, mustard dressing on the salad. And it doesn't hurt that they make for a stunning presentation. Pair your plate with a crisp, cold wine and you have an ideal summer meal in just fifteen minutes flat.

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