This was a little something I made up in my head in the middle of the night that left me salivating all over my pillow. My sister recently gave me a gorgeous Jap pumpkin from her garden and being the middle of summer I didn’t think pumpkin soup was really appropriate. So my little foodie obsessed brain got a ticking and the end result was rather yum! Crispy parmesan and sage infused crumbs coated tender pork cutlets. I felt a side salad of caramelised roasted veg, fresh rocket, toasted pine nuts and a sweet balsamic dressing would be the perfect accompaniment and by George…….I was right!
Prep time: 25 Minutes Cooking time: 35 Minutes $$ Low-Medium Budget
Olive oil for frying
4 x Rindless pork cutlets
2 eggs, lightly beaten with 1 tbs of water
2 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbs of plain flour
1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
Sea salt and cracked pepper
For the Salad:
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1/2 a jap pumpkin, skin on and sliced into wedges
1 packet of cherry or roma truss tomatoes
1 bag of baby rocket leaves
2 tbs of toasted pine nuts
Sea salt and cracked pepper
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
Squeeze of lemon juice
Extra sage leaves to fry for garnish
To crumb the pork, set yourself up a little production line. Place the flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Have your eggs whisked and ready in a shallow bowl and mix your crumbs, parmesan and finely chopped sage with your finger tips on a flat plate.
Lightly coat a cutlet in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip it in the egg and make sure it is coated all over and then gently press the cutlet into the breadcrumb mixture. Set aside on a lined baking tray and repeat with the remaining cutlets. To make sure the crumbs really stick and if you have time, place the cutlets in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the pumpkin wedges in a large lined baking tray and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes before adding the tomatoes (season a little as well) and baking for a further 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is golden and the tomatoes are starting to blister.
Heat a large frypan and add enough olive oil to just coat the bottom of the pan. To test if the oil is hot enough, pop in a few crumbs and if they start to bubble right away, it is ready. Place the cutlets in the pan (you may need to do this in batches) and gently fry on both sides for approximately 4-5 minutes until golden. Once golden, remove from the pan and place on a tray lined with paper towel. Cook the remaining cutlets and then place in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until cooked through. Don’t leave them in too long, pork has a tendency to dry out. Keep the remaining oil in the pan nice and hot and place the whole sage leaves in the hot oil. Fry for 1-2 minutes or until crispy, remove from the oil and drain on paper towel.
Place the olive oil, balsamic and lemon juice in a small bowl and lightly whisk to combine. Open the bag of rocket and place a little of the dressing in the bag. Clench the top of the bag and give it a gentle toss to coat the leaves.
To plate the dish, place an equal pile of rocket leaves on each plate along with the pumpkin wedges and tomatoes. Top with a cutlet, scatter over the pine nuts and crispy sage leaves and then spoon over the remaining dressing. Enjoy!