Raisin-Fig-Balsamic Sauce

In food processor or blender, process raisins, figs, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, water, vanilla bean pulp and freshly ground black pepper until smooth. Strain through fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pickled Red Onions

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes or until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and steep for 20 minutes. Remove red onion rings with slotted spoon. (Store reserved pickling juice in refrigerator for later use.)

Pork Chops

Season pork chops with salt and pepper and brush with Raisin-Fig-Balsamic sauce. Grill for 4 minutes on each side or until done (internal temperature of 160°F for medium).


Sauté onions and corn in butter over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add black beans, red bell pepper and parsley; cook for 5 minutes, more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To Assemble

Warm remaining Raisin-Fig-Balsamic sauce over medium heat for 5 minutes or until heated through. Divide and arrange some of the pickled red onion rings in centers of 4 serving plates and top each with corn-black bean mixture. Arrange pork chop on top and spoon remaining sauce all around. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.

From: The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter, Ten Speed Press, 1999


Raisin-Fig-Balsamic Sauce

  • 1/2 Cup California raisins
  • 1/2 Cup dried figs
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1 Cup water
  • Pulp of 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt; to taste


Pickled Red Onion Rings (makes 1 cup)

  • 1 red onion, cut into rings 1/8-inch thick
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 Teaspoon peeled, chopped fresh gingerroot

Pork Chops

  • 4 center cut pork chops (4 ounces each)
  • Salt and pepper; to taste

Corn and Black Beans

  • 1/2 Cup diced Spanish onion
  • 1 Cup sweet corn kernels
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Cup cooked black beans
  • 1/2 Cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories 470 (Calories from Fat 53%); Total Fat 29 ( Saturated Fat 6; Trans Fat 0; ); Cholesterol 55; Sodium 820; Potassium 570; Total Carbohydrate 36; Dietary Fiber 5; Sugars 24; Protein 21; Calcium 59; Iron 2;

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There are many more ways to use raisins for healthy cooking. Take a look at our recipe page for more delicious dishes.
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