Culinary opposites often attract, and the results can be delicious.
Unexpected pairings can be perfect. It’s not like tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches were made to go together, but when they finally found each other, it was clear they should never be apart. Same can be said for chocolate-covered pretzels or milk and cookies. They simply work together.
Sometimes it’s not only opposing flavors that work well. Different textures are usually an important element in a winning dish. That’s what makes creamy yogurt topped with crunchy granola so tasty. And what’s an ice cream sundae if it’s not topped with toasted nuts? Well, it’s still an ice cream sundae, but it’s not as good.
Contrasting temperatures can also make for a memorable match. This week’s Crispy Pork Chops with Radicchio, Endive and Apple salad is a great case in point. Hot, crispy, slightly salty pork chops are served alongside a cold, crunchy, slightly sweet, slightly bitter salad. The combo is so good that I usually serve the salad on top of the pork chop, so I make sure to get a little of each ingredient in every bite.
Of course, it’s not breaking news that apples and pork chops are natural partners, but typically the apples come in the form of warm applesauce or sautéed apples. Hot on hot.
Take the premise and turn it on its head by serving cool sliced raw green apple, along with big leaves of radicchio and Belgian endive. Coat it in a simple lemon-mustard dressing and it’s a surprising combination you won’t soon forget.
Meredith Deeds is a cookbook author and food writer from Edina. Reach her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @meredithdeeds.