As families and friends gather on patios and decks to enjoy the warmth of summer and meals fresh off the grill, many are searching for that perfect ingredient that can complement salads, appetizers, main courses, desserts, and more.
This year, you can turn to pecans to elevate meals and give your guests something to rave about. Iconic for their flavor versatility, shining in a wide range of profiles from sweet and spicy to salty, smoky, and savory, they’re a tasty addition for favorite summertime recipes.
From an enjoyable crunch to comforting creaminess and a satisfying chew, pecans deliver a perfect bite and texture. These Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Pecan Salsa, for example, are loaded with fresh flavors for an easy, nutritious warm-weather meal.
Taste is just the beginning—pecans also pack a nutritious punch with a unique mix of health-promoting nutrients and bioactive compounds. Known for their rich, buttery consistency and naturally sweet taste, pecans have a longstanding tradition as a nut topping. They’re sprinkled atop this Spiced Pecan Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese for a refreshing seasonal salad with a nutty crunch.
To find more recipes that take summer entertaining to the next level, visit EatPecans.com.
Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Pecan Salsa
Cook time: 25 minutes
4 boneless pork loin chops (each 1-inch thick)
3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon, kosher salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 medium peaches, diced
2/3 cup raw pecan pieces
2 tablespoons red onion, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon minced jalapeno pepper
2 teaspoons lime juice
Season pork chops with 3/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste.
Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
Grill pork chops until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook 5–6 minutes until food thermometer inserted in center registers 135 F.
Transfer to plate and let rest at least 5 minutes until internal temperature rises to 145–160 F.
Gently stir peaches, pecans, onion, basil, jalapeno, lime juice, and remaining salt.
Add salsa on top of each pork chop and place remaining salsa on side.
Spiced Pecan Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
1 large egg white
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups pecan halves
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons, extra-virgin olive oil or pecan oil, divided
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
pepper, to taste
2 large peaches, halved and pits removed
6 cups mixed baby greens (such as arugula, spring mix and spinach)
4 ounces soft goat cheese
To make spiced pecans:
Preheat oven to 275 F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk egg white, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and salt until well combined. Fold in pecans and mix until evenly coated in mixture. Spread in single layer on prepared baking sheet.
Bake 45–50 minutes, stirring occasionally until pecans are fragrant and golden-brown. Allow to cool completely.
To make salad:
Heat grill to medium-high heat.
In small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Brush cut sides of peach halves with remaining olive oil and grill 3–5 minutes—until grill lines appear and peaches become tender. Remove peaches and cut into slices.
Divide greens among four plates. Top with grilled peach slices and goat cheese. Divide 1 cup spiced pecans evenly among salads and reserve remaining cup for snacking. Drizzle each salad with vinaigrette.