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Porchetta With Dandelion Greens

Porchetta With Dandelion Greens

This rich pork roast, stuffed with garlic and herbs, is a specialty of central Italy. Traditionally a whole pig is stuffed and slow-roasted over coals, producing the crispiest skin and tenderest, most succulent meat. Tip: You'll need to start this recipe a day ahead, since the pork marinates overnight in the fridge.

  • Yield: 6 to 8 sandwiches


  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh fennel fronds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 7 cloves garlic: 5 minced, 2 sliced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 pounds boneless pork shoulder, preferably with the skin still attached, or boneless pork butt with the fat cap attached (ask your butcher to butterfly to an even 1-inch thickness)
  • 1 bunch fresh dandelion greens
  • 6 to 8 thick slices olive fougasse or soft Italian bread, lightly toasted


  • In the bowl of a blender or food processor, combine 1/2 cup of the olive oil with the sage, fennel fronds, thyme, rosemary, oregano, shallot, minced garlic, orange and lemon zest, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, white wine, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1 teaspoon of the pepper. Process for 45 seconds, or until the ingredients are well combined.

  • Lay the pork, skin side or fatty side down, on a cutting board, and spread the herb oil mixture all over it. Roll the pork into a tight cylinder, and then tie it in several places with butcher’s twine. Place the pork on a baking sheet, seam side down. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  • Remove the pork from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for up to 1 hour.

  • Preheat the oven to 500°F.

  • Rub the outside of the pork with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and then season the pork with 4 1/2 teaspoons salt and the remaining 2 teaspoons pepper. Place the pork in a medium roasting pan—the pan should be just slightly larger than the roast. Place the pan in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 250°F. Roast the pork, uncovered, until it registers an internal temperature of 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, 4 1/2 hours. If the skin does not seem crisp at the end of 4 1/2 hours, raise the heat to 450°F and roast for 15 to 30 minutes, until a crispy crust is formed.

  • Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. When ready to serve, slice the meat crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces.

  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or just until the garlic is fragrant. Add the dandelion greens, a handful at a time, and cook until just wilted. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

  • Lay a slice of pork on each slice of toast, drizzle with some of the pan juices, and then top with a mound of dandelion greens. Serve immediately.

  • Note: The pork roast will yield more meat than is needed for the sandwiches, but it makes great leftovers. Store it in a resealable container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.