Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Roast porchetta with farro and caponata

Michael Tuohy
Grange Restaurant, Sacramento

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2 cups kosher salt
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. fennel seed
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. crushed chile flakes
1 pork belly, skin on preferred with loin attached or if separate, it can be wrapped
1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic

1/4 cup olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 lb. farro (ancient Italian wheat grain available at good Italian markets)
1 quart chicken stock
2 bay leaves
Salt, to taste

Caponata (can also be purchased premade in Italian markets)
2 medium eggplant, medium diced
1 pint extra virgin olive oil
4 stalks celery, medium diced
2 medium yellow onions, medium diced
1 small can plum tomatoes, crushed or milled
1 cup plumped golden raisins
1/2 cup capers
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. crushed chile flakes
3 tbsp. chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
Kosher salt, to taste


For porchetta:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine salt, garlic powder and dried herbs in a bowl. Rub the inside of the pork belly and loin with fresh garlic and dry rub. Roll and tie pork and place on a rack in a large roasting pan. “Blast roast” for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees. Continue cooking about 90 more minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove and loosely tent with aluminum foil. Allow pork to rest for 20 minutes or longer before slicing and serving.

For farro:
Heat oil in a large saucepot. Add chopped vegetables and sweat until soft. Add farro and stir for 1 minute. Add chicken stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt to taste; reserve.

For caponata:
Before dicing eggplant, slice into 1/2-inch-thick disks, lay out on a sheet pan and salt generously. Let stand for 30 to 45 minutes to pull out moisture. Rinse and dry, then dice. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil. Begin to brown eggplant. Remove from pan and reserve. Add celery, onions and more olive oil if necessary. Allow to get color before adding tomatoes. Add tomatoes and cook down until it thickens and the moisture has begun to evaporate. Add raisins, capers, pine nuts, vinegar, chile flakes and cooked eggplant. Stir and remove from heat. Add chopped herbs. Season with salt to taste. You should have a nice balance between sweet, salty, sour and a bit of heat.

To serve:
Assemble by placing a generous serving of farro on the plate. Add a slice of porchetta and a spoonful of caponata.

Serves 6 to 8

Chef’s wine tip
“Serve with a delicious J Runquist Pioneer Hill Vineyard Sangiovese Amador 2006. Sticking to the Italian side of things here, this locally produced Italian varietal is perfect for a dish inspired by the porchetta tradition—a rich, fruit-forward red with just enough backbone to stand up to a myriad of flavors!”

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