There are lots of different ways of building a summer salad. Some might begin by picking a seasonal ingredient, others might find inspiration from the reduced aisle in the supermarket, or the green fingered among us could see what leaves have sprouted in the garden. Try this summer salad perfect for those al-fresco moments.

This recipe started with the excitement of discovering enormous duck breasts for £2.50 in the butchers. The duck season allows wild breeds such as teal, mallard and widgeon to be shot from September 1 to January 31, but the increase of farmed duck ensures reasonably-priced meat from varieties like Gressingham or Barbary all year round. 

 

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 1 red chicory
  • 1 orange
  • 40g lamb’s lettuce
  • 40g walnut halves
  • 75g green beans
  • 1 duck breast
  • 1tbsp cracked black pepper
  • salt

Dressing

  • 3tbsps olive oil
  • 1tbsp red-wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1tsp flat leaf parsley, finely sliced

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Next, prepare the salad. Cut the red chicory at the base and tear away the leaves. Cut off the top and bottom of the orange, use a knife to slice away the peel and then cut between the membrane to divide it into segments.
  3. Put the red chicory, lamb’s lettuce, orange segments and walnut halves in a salad bowl.
  4. Top and tail the green beans and cut into two-inch pieces. Blanche in boiling water and then chill by running them under cold water. Add the green beans to the salad bowl.
  5. Shake the olive oil, red-wine vinegar, shallot and parsley in a jam jar—and add any residual orange juice left from preparing the orange (a tablespoon or so of liquid can be squeezed from the membrane). Pour the dressing over the salad, toss to coat everything and then divide between two plates.
  6. Season the duck with salt and press the cracked black pepper into the fatty skin side.
  7. Heat a frying pan or skillet that can go inside the oven. There’s no need to add any butter or oil—when you put in the duck skin-side down, it leaches out its own fat. Reduce the heat and cook for five minutes until the skin turns golden and crisp, then move the pan to the oven and cook the duck breast for three more minutes on each side.
  8. Let the duck breast rest for five minutes. Then thinly slice and serve on top of the two salads.

 

Try this...

The flavours in this salad and dressing also go perfectly with beef. For a red meat alternative, quickly pan-fry onglet or hanger steak, slice into thin strips and serve as you would the duck.

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