The Year’s Bests

Dish of the Year

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Petit Socco’s pork belly and nectarine panzanella is a clever Thai take on the traditional Italian salad.

Adam Donnelly’s sourdough has been rising alongside him. “My starter ‘Bob’, as my children affectionally named it, has been going for the last six years,” he says. “During a trip to France and visiting the countryside, I saw a real focus on whole grains and the importance placed on flavour development in bread.” When he returned to Winnipeg, and after shutting his restaurant Segovia, Donnelly kept his starter but turned his attention to a new sourdough, one that introduced flavourful, freshly milled Manitoba grains: rye, spelt and einkorn.

November 1, 2023
Petit Socco’s pork belly and nectarine panzanella

“The bread has become a bit of a staple for our returning guests, and it felt nice to find a new way to incorporate it into a dish that felt fresh,” he says of the spectacular panzanella that often appears on Petit Socco’s evolving menu. Cue juicy Greenland Garden Centre tomatoes from the Steinbach area, and seasonal stone fruit like nectarines from the city’s Jardins St–Léon Gardens market. Pork belly gets top billing: brined for two days in cumin, coriander, peppercorns, pasilla, curry leaves, ginger, garlic and lemon, the generous cubes of warm, roasted pork are hidden beneath the technicolour fruit like buried treasure. The zingy lime dressing is made of serrano chilies, fish sauce and freshly squeezed orange juice. Sweet, acidic, warm, cool, juicy, bold, original, this salad is inspired from top to unctuous bottom.

The Year’s Bests