<i>Serves 4</i>

Cooking with lovage has its limitations because it can be so overpowering. But when they're deep fried, the leaves lose some of their potency. You can serve these leaves with most grilled meats, but especially with pork and veal.

Cooking with lovage has its limitations because it can be so overpowering. But when they're deep fried, the leaves lose some of their potency. You can serve these leaves with most grilled meats, but especially with pork and veal.

4 pork chops weighing about 200-250g each
A handful of lovage leaves, stalks removed
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the batter

100ml iced water
30g plain flour
30g potato or corn flour
1tsp baking powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the salsa verde

15g mint leaves
15g parsley leaves
15g green basil leaves
15g capers, washed
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

First make the salsa verde, blend all the ingredients in a liquidiser or food processor to a coarse purée and season. You may need to add a little more olive oil to bind the herbs, but the salsa shouldn't be too thin.

Pre-heat about 8cm of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan or electric deep-fat fryer to 160-180ºC.

Meanwhile mix all the ingredients for the batter with a whisk - don't worry if it's a bit lumpy. Dip the lovage leaves in the batter a few at a time and deep fry for about 1-2 minutes until crisp but not coloured too much, moving them around while they are cooking with a slotted spoon. Remove from the fat, drain on kitchen paper and lightly season with salt.

Meanwhile pre-heat a ribbed griddle pan or pre-heat a grill or barbecue. Season the chops and lightly oil. Cook them for about 3-4 minutes on each side; they shouldn't be cooked too much as they will just dry out.

Serve with a spoonful of sauce and the lovage leaves in a pile.

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