This is the best of Christmas and summer in the one dish. By all means, add any fruit you love to the salad – any stone fruit would be incredible. I like to barbecue the fruit to give it a charred flavour and then add the dressing. You will get the most out of it by adding the best balsamic vinegar you can afford. Serve with sides of garlic roasted potatoes and blanched asparagus topped with olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and slivered almonds.
1.2kg boneless pork belly, skin on
20 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp fennel seeds, roasted and ground
1 tbsp coriander seeds, roasted and ground
½ tsp mild chilli flakes
6 sage leaves, coarsely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 lemons, cut into quarters
For the salad
3 slipstone peaches, blanched and peeled
3 nectarines, skin on
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
1. Lay the pork on a board, skin side up. Score the skin at ½ cm intervals using a very sharp knife or box cutter, cutting down to where the skin meets the fat (no deeper).
2. Place the pork on a tray, skin side up, and place in the fridge overnight, uncovered, to dry out. This is important for the crackling.
3. Place the garlic in a saucepan of cold salted water and bring to the boil, then simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the garlic is cooked and tender. Remove the garlic.
4. In a small bowl, mash the garlic with a fork, add the fennel, coriander, chilli, sage and a pinch of sea salt and mix well. Remove the pork from the fridge and rub the garlic paste into the flesh side.
5. Preheat the oven to 240C (220C fan-forced). Lay the pork belly skin-side-down on a large chopping board and roll into a log, tying with kitchen string at 3cm intervals. Rub with lots of sea salt and olive oil, set aside and allow pork to come to room temperature.
6. Place the pork on a wire rack over a roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 160C (140C fan-forced) and roast the pork for a further hour until it measures an internal temperature of about 56C. Remove and rest for about 30 minutes – the internal temperature will rise by 4C or 5C as it cooks the pork through.
7. To make the salad, cut the peaches and nectarines in half and then cut each half in thirds. Place in a bowl and season with sea salt and pepper, add oil and vinegar, and toss together.
8. Place pork on a chopping board, remove the string and cut into 8 slices. To serve, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and top with a sprinkle of sea salt and a grind of fresh pepper. Spoon some of the fruit and dressing next to it.