Agrodolce is a wonderful, delicious and surprisingly easy to make sweet and sour sauce. The word itself is a pure joy to say and the flavours are a game changer.
It is often made of vinegar, some type of sweetener (such as sugar), garlic and fresh herbs. However, the possibilities are virtually endless. Some people will add raisins or currants, others will use honey, and others still will add a splash of fortified wine.
It can be used as a sauce and drizzled overtop of grilled chicken, beef, lamb, veal, pork or even certain types of fish. It also works wonders on roasted or grilled vegetables, such as squash, onions, zucchini, peppers, eggplant, you name it!
In this case, I used the agrodolce to glaze some otherwise lacklustre, centre-cut pork loin chops that my father brought over. They were thin, sad looking but on special at the butcher shop! What can I say, it’s hard to pass up a great deal.
I was scratching my head thinking what to do with them. They needed a serious injection of flavour.
My first thought was to quickly sear them in a screaming hot skillet and top them with some leftover chimichurri I had in the fridge (a recipe I still need to get around to writing). Then I was reminded of something I once saw Giada De Laurentiis do. She grilled pork chops and glazed them with agrodolce. The result was a mouth-watering, glossy chop fit for a celebration. No doubt the Italian backdrop of her rooftop terrace helped set the mood!
This rosemary agrodolce is a slightly modified version of Giada’s. I substituted fresh rosemary in the place of thyme and used organic maple syrup instead of honey. I went with a white balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, rather than the butter she finished the sauce with.
The result is nothing short of delicious and I can’t wait to use it time and time again!
Agrodolce is a wonderful, delicious and surprisingly easy to make sweet and sour sauce. Try using it to glaze a beautifully grilled pork chops or other cuts of meat!
- 2 centre-cut pork loin chops - or similar cut
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil EVOO
- 2-3 cloves garlic - finely sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary - finely chopped
- kosher salt and black pepper
- sweet paprika
- avocado oil
- Add balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, EVOO, garlic and rosemary to a cold 2-qt sauce pan. Set over medium-low heat and gently cook the agrodolce until reduced and syrupy (approx. 10-12 min total).
- Meanwhile, preheat grill pan or grill to high heat. Pat pork chops dry with paper towel, drizzle with a small amount of avocado oil and gently season both sides with salt, pepper and paprika.
- Grill pork chops approximately 2-3 minutes (depending on thickness). Flip and glaze with agrodolce. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until desired doneness, flip and baste with more agrodolce.
- Transfer grilled pork chops to a serving platter and drizzle with more agrodolce. Serve with a sautéed bitter vegetable, such as rapini, and roasted sweet potatoes.