One Pot Wonders: Pork Chops with Fresh Peaches and Basil

Pan-seared pork chops served with spinach and a rich, sweet peach sauce make up this simple, seasonal one-pot meal. Yasmin Fahr

I'm minorly obsessed with this dish—granted more so with the peaches than anything else, but that might be because I've loved soft, sweet peaches since I was a kid. I think it was the Del Monte brand of canned peaches in syrup that I would always crack open, pour into a bowl and eat plain, or top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream as a "snack." Now, I've decided to make a similar version with fresh summer peaches that lacks the excess sugar and preservatives of the peach pairings of my youth, and tastes even better, to boot.

I'm not going to say that I actually licked the plate because my mother would severely disapprove and I'm clearly a grown-up now and wouldn't dare do such things...but I'm also not going to deny it, either. The hot, thick pan drippings are perfect for pouring over the peaches and chops as a finishing touch, infusing them with flavor and lightly wilting the raw spinach served beneath.

I made it with three peaches, which were more than enough to give each chop its fair share, but they're so delicious that I would definitely make more next time, though you may have to adjust the seasoning accordingly. I like fruit skins; if you're not a fan, wait to remove them after the cooking process, when they'll slip right off.

When buying peaches for this recipe (or for grilling project), look for ones that are on the firm side, with a slight give. Too ripe and the fruit will completely fall apart over the heat; hard as a baseball and it won't have that requisite sweetness. The same goes for other summer stone fruits like apricots, nectarines or plums, any of which would be a great alternative in this recipe. Or use a combination—you can always use the leftovers for breakfast, served with some Greek yogurt and honey, as a mid-day fruit salad snack, or in a fruit salsa for the next evening's dinner.

I found that the bed of spinach rounded out the meal to make it nutritionally balanced enough for a complete one-pot dinner, but if you want a little something else, then a side of vegetables like sautéed summer squash, eggplant, or some corn could round out the meal. Or, if you want to avoid the possibility of any plate-licking action happening at your dinner table, a piece of bread to sop up the liquid on the plate might be a good idea.