Sweet and sour duck salad

    1 hour

    With ripe, juicy nectarines, red grapes, peppery green and red leaves, and slices of tender griddled duck, this is a particularly pretty salad. The unusual dressing complements and brings together all the ingredients.

    3 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 250 g (8½ oz) mixed basmati and wild rice, well rinsed
    • 450 g (1 lb) boneless duck breasts
    • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 85 g (3 oz) watercress, tough stalks discarded
    • 140 g (5 oz) seedless green grapes, halved
    • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
    • 3 celery sticks, thinly sliced
    • 4 nectarines
    • 8 radicchio leaves or other red salad leaves
    • 3 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
    • salt and pepper
    • Sweet and sour dressing
    • 1 tsp grated fresh root ginger
    • 1 small garlic clove, very finely chopped
    • 1 tbsp sieved apricot jam
    • 2 tsp raspberry vinegar or white wine vinegar
    • 2 tbsp hazelnut oil

    Prep:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr 

    1. Cook the rice in a saucepan of boiling water for 20 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until tender. Drain, then transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
    2. Heat a ridged cast-iron grill pan. Meanwhile, remove all the skin and fat from the duck breasts, and brush them on both sides with the olive oil. Place on the grill pan and cook over a moderately high heat for 3 minutes on each side (the meat will be rare, so cook longer if you prefer it well done). Allow the duck breasts to cool.
    3. To make the dressing, put the ginger, garlic, apricot jam, vinegar and hazelnut oil in a small bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt to taste.
    4. Chop half the watercress and add to the rice together with the grapes, spring onions and celery. Drizzle over half the dressing and mix gently.
    5. Cut the duck breasts into thin slices. Thinly slice the nectarines. Arrange the radicchio and reserved watercress leaves on 4 plates and divide the rice salad among them. Arrange the duck and nectarine slices on top, drizzle over the remaining dressing and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds.

    Some more ideas

    Use ½ ripe Galia or Charentais melon, cut into thin crescents, instead of the nectarines. * Make a griddled duck, sweet potato and apple salad. Cook 675 g (1½ lb) peeled and cubed sweet potatoes in enough boiling water to cover for 6–8 minutes or until tender. Drain well and cool slightly. For the dressing, stir 2½ tbsp each mayonnaise and plain low-fat yogurt with 1 tbsp Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Core and chop 1 large apple and toss with 2 tbsp lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Add 3 celery sticks and 4 spring onions, all thinly sliced, and stir in the dressing. Fold in the sweet potatoes and the hot sliced duck. Serve warm, on a bed of mixed salad leaves.

    Plus points

    Watercress, along with other dark green leafy vegetables, provides many vitamins and minerals including vitamin A (from beta-carotene), C and E, the B vitamins B6, folate and niacin, and good amounts of calcium. * Nectarines are high in vitamin C, fibre and beta-carotene (the darker the colour of the flesh, the higher the carotenoid content). They also offer B-complex vitamins. * Radicchio, a member of the chicory family, has deep red and white tightly packed leaves. The red pigment means this vegetable is high in beta-carotene.

    Each serving provides

    B1, B2, B6, B12, C, niacin, copper * A, E, folate, iron, potassium, zinc

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