A gourmet salad with duck and spiced pears from U.K. cookbook writer and chef Lindy Wildsmith. This recipe can be made with commercially smoked duck breast, but if you have got into the smoking habit, try hot smoking your own and serve it warm.
1 tsp thyme leaves
2 tbsp walnut oil
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp liquid honey
4 cups arugula, spinach, watercress and beet leaf salad
1/2 cup green beans, lightly cooked in salted boiling water, drained, plunged into iced water, and drained again
4 scallions, shredded
4" piece of cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1 cup purple radish sprouts
1-2 smoked duck breasts, cut into thin slices
1/2 cup walnut pieces
Spiced Pears In Pear Cider
1 cup pear cider vinegar or cider vinegar
3/4 cup fresh ginger root, peeled
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
Pinch of mace
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup light muscovado sugar
1-3/4 lb. firm pears
Step 1: For the spiced pears, put the pear cider vinegar, ginger, garlic, cumin, bay leaf, star anise, mace, salt and sugar in a saucepan and bring to simmering point. Cook gently until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat and boil for 5 minutes to reduce.
Step 2: Peel the pears, cut in half, and poach in the spiced syrup until tender. Reserve two pear halves and slice them for this recipe, and transfer the rest to a sterile jar and seal.
Step 3: Put the thyme leaves, oils, vinegar, honey and salt in a screw-top jar, replace the lid, and shake well. Taste and adjust as necessary.
Step 4: Put the salad leaves, beans, scallions, cucumber and purple radish sprouts in a bowl. Add the dressing and toss lightly.
Step 5: Either divide the salad between four plates and arrange the pears and the duck breast on the side, sprinkled with the walnut pieces, or arrange the duck and pears on top of the salad and serve from the salad bowl.
Reprinted with permission from Lindy Wildsmith's Cured (2010 Jacqui Small).