Sweet and Sour Duck Salad

Sweet and Sour Duck Salad


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

Elaine Russell

Serves: 4 

  • 1¼ cups (250g) mixed basmati and wild rice
  • 4 small boneless duck breasts (about 500g in total)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2¼ cups (85g) watercress leaves
  • 1 cup (170g) seedless green grapes, halved
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 4 nectarines
  • 8 radicchio leaves or other red salad leaves
  • ¼ cup (35g) toasted pepitas
  • For the dressing
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 small garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam
  • 2 tsp raspberry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp hazelnut oil
  • pepper to taste

Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:1hour 

  1. Cook the rice in a saucepan of boiling water for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, then transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
  2. Heat a ridged chargrill pan over a medium–high heat. Meanwhile, remove all skin and fat from the duck breasts and brush them on both sides with the olive oil. Place on the chargrill pan and cook 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 pepper to taste.
  4. Chop half the watercress and add to the rice, together with the grapes, spring onions and celery. Drizzle half the dressing over the salad and mix gently.
  5. Cut the duck breasts into thin slices. Thinly slice the nectarines. Arrange the radicchio and reserved watercress leaves on four plates and divide the rice salad among them. Arrange the duck and nectarine slices on top, drizzle with the remaining dressing and sprinkle with the pepitas.

Some more ideas…

Grilled duck, sweet potato and apple salad Cook 700g peeled and cubed sweet potatoes in enough boiling water to cover for 6–8 minutes or until tender. Drain well, then cool slightly. To make the dressing, stir 2½ tbsp each 97% fat-free mayonnaise and plain low-fat yogurt with 1 tbsp Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Core and chop 1 large green apple and toss with 2 tbsp lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Add 3 celery stalks and 4 spring onions, all thinly sliced, then stir in the dressing. Fold in the sweet potatoes and the hot sliced duck. Serve the salad warm, on a bed of salad leaves. * Use 4 peaches instead of the nectarines. * If you can't find toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), lightly toast the raw ones in a dry frying pan for a few minutes, watching that they don't burn.

Health points

Nectarines are high in vitamin C, fibre and betacarotene (the darker the colour of the flesh, the higher the carotenoid content). They also offer B complex vitamins.

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