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Roast pork, date and witlof salad

A salad with extra crackle that’s a balance of sweet, bitter and rich. Begin this recipe a day ahead to dry the pork skin.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 45 mins cooking plus drying, resting
  • Serves 4
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  • 800 gm piece boneless pork belly, skin thinly scored
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • shaved Parmesan, to serve
Date & witlof salad
  • 6 pitted dates, thinly sliced
  • 2 witlof, leaves separated
  • 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ white onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 anchovy fillets, torn
  • 35 gm (¼ cup) roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped


  • 1
    Place pork skin-side up on a tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate, uncovered, for skin to dry out (overnight).
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 220°C. Coarsely grind fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle, then transfer to a bowl with 2 tsp salt flakes. Place pork skin-side up on a wire rack over the sink, then pour boiling water over the skin. Pat dry, drizzle with oil and rub in fennel mixture. Place in a roasting pan lined with baking paper, roast until crackling starts to form (30 minutes), then reduce heat to 160°C and roast until skin is deep golden and juices run clear when pork is pierced with a skewer (1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes). Remove pork from pan and rest for 15 minutes.
  • 3
    For date and witlof salad, toss ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.
  • 4
    Remove pork crackling and break into small pieces. Remove excess fat from pork, then cut into thin slices. Top with salad, crackling and parmesan to serve.


Drink suggestion: Rich ripe pinot gris. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.

  • undefined: Lisa Featherby