Kurobuta pork, the most prized in Japan and considered to be equal in status to Kobe beef, is raised by Snake River Farms in America. We combine this rich, heritage breed with gently smoked ripe Black Mission figs to create a light, yet savory dinner party appetizer. The smoked fruit flavors in this summer recipe bring out the ripe concentration of dark berry flavors in Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.



Season the pork belly with salt, sugar, fennel pollen and pepper, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate on a baking rack for 8-10 hours. Unwrap the belly, blot the surface of any moisture and place fat side up, on a roasting rack. Roast at 450 degrees for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 275 degrees and continue to roast until the belly is easily pierced by a paring knife (1 ½ – 2 hours). Remove the belly from the oven and compress between two weighted pans. Refrigerate overnight. The belly may be portioned at this point, as recipe produces 5 pounds of meat. The remainder may be divided and frozen.

Bring farro and stock to a simmer in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add thyme and salt, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until farro is tender (approximately 15 minutes). Remove the pot from the heat and allow the farro to cool in the stock. Drain and reserve.

For the fig vinaigrette, combine all ingredients except for the olive oil in a blender pitcher; process until smooth. With the motor slowly running, add the olive oil to emulsify. Thin with apple cider to desired consistency, then reserve.

To smoke the figs, season with thyme, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Arrange the halves, cut side up on a wire rack and smoke at 195 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. Recommended smoker chips include cherry, apple or oak. Transfer the figs to a plate, loosely covered at room temperature, and reserve.

To plate, combine the farro, arugula and corn, season and gently toss in the fig vinaigrette. Spoon the farro salad onto six plates. Arrange the fig and two slices of pork over the farro. Garnish with Cipollini onion, pistachio, arugula blossoms and Maldon salt.