Saturday, 23 October 2010

Feel the beet: Duck, beetroot and walnut warm salad

Sometimes the Boy does things I'd just never consider to do. Like buy a whole duck because it's in the reduced price section late on a Thursday night. But you know there is method to his madness. After he had hacked it to bits with a carving knife and distributed to various plastic bags... Duck legs baked with orange and other delights one night, duck stock turned into a richly meaty pumpkin and chorizo soup. And then this little discovery.

Warm salad of duck breast with beetroot and walnuts
serves 2

1 large or two small duck breasts (skin on and scored)

For the beetroot puree:
100ml sweet sherry
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cooked beetroot
pinch smoked paprika
pinch brown sugar

For the beetroot dressing:
3 tbsp olive oil
1tsp Dijon mustard
pinch salt
pinch sugar

To serve:
2 handfuls watercress, spinach and rocket salad
1 handful toasted walnuts
reserved beetroot puree

Heat oven to 180. Season the duck, heat an ovenproof frying pan over a high heat, add the duck skin-side down and fry for 2-3minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer to oven and cook for 8-10mins, until still slightly pink in the middle. Remove and set aside on a warm covered plate (reserve any juices from the pan too).

For the beetroot puree, add the sherry, vinegar, red onion and beetroot to a pan with the duck juices in it and sprinkle over that pinch of smoked paprika. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 3-4 mins until its reduced by a third. Keep a couple fo tablespoons of the mixture for the dressing and blend the rest with the brown sugar in a food processor to silky smooth.

For the dressing, whisk reserved beetroot mixture, olive oil, mustard and pinch salt and sugar, then strain and keep the juicy liquids.

To serve carve the duck into 1cm thick slices. Arrange leave in the centre of the plat , arrange duck slices on top. Drizzle over the dressing and sprinkle with wlanuts. Dot the beetroot puree around the edge of the plate. Voila. Looks pretty pretty as well as tasting damn good. Love an autumnal salad.

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