|Pumpkin Salad with Crackling Pork Belly
Pumpkin and macadamia were born to be best friends. They go together superbly. The pumpkin discs went well with the pork. The slight bitterness of the rocket with salty pork was awesome. Asparagus was great with the macadamias and puree.
Did I mention there was Pork belly with crackling, I mean do we really need anything else other than that?
Ingredients for 2
About 300 grams pork belly with skin on
About 1/2 of whole butternut squash
10 stalks of asparagus - bases trimmed
1 cup of rocket leaves - washed
1/2 cup of macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup Italian Parsley
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon
Prepare the pumpkin/squash
1. Peel the pumpkin and cut them into slices about 1.5 cm thick. (just estmate, does not have to be exact). An average sized squash should give you about 6 slices from the fleshy part of the fruit. (The upper part without the seeds)
2. Using a small cookie cutter, cut out discs from the slices. Set these discs aside.
3. Roughly cut up the rest of the pumpkin. Wrap them all in a large piece of foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 160 degress for about 45 mins.
4. Place the baked pumkin pieces in a food processor and puree until smooth. Scoop out and set aside. You can pass the puree trough a find mesh seive for a even smoother puree. Mix in the butter and season with a pinch of salt. Reserve and set aside
5. In a saute pan, heat some cooking oil over a medium heat. When oil is heated, cook the pumpkin discs till they brown on the outside and soft in the middle. About 6 minutes per-side. (depending on the thickness) Set aside when done.
Roasting the pork
1. With a very sharp knife, score the skin of the pork with parallel lines about 1/2 a centimeter apart. (A stanley knife works great for this). The cuts you make should also get into some of the fat under the skin, but do not cut all the way to the lean meat under the skin. Salt the skin generously, making sure to rub the salt in the cuts. Pepper the sides as well.
2. Place pork on a baking dish and cook in the oven set to "grill" mode for 45 minutes. Until the skin
"crackles" fully. When done remove from heat. Cut into 2 and set aside.
While the pork is in the oven, prepare the rest of the stuff
1. To make the Vinaigrette, put all Vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor and blitz till smooth. Add a small splash of water if its too dry or too hard to blend. season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve and set aside
2. Toast the macadamias in a pan over medium heat until they brown. No oil needed. Reserve and set aside
3. Blanch the aspargus for 1 minute in salted boiling water. Then shock them in cold water. dress lightly with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
To plate, if you wanna try your hand and fancy plating, you can try "pulling" the puree across the plate. Dress the plate how ever you like. I found that plating in this general order helps.
Pumpkin Puree, Pork, Pumpkin discs, macadamias, asparagus, rocket and lastly the vinaigrette.