These honey smoked duck breasts were the last of my goodies from the smoking I did last weekend. I have been so looking forward to them. They smelled delicious going into, and coming out of, the smoker. I knew the fresh orange would cut through the richness and smokiness of the meat, and would pair well with the honey. I think roasted beetroot would also do nicely in this salad, for similar reasons, but someone in our house doesn’t like beetroot, so oranges it was. I have been eyeing of the bags of beautiful elm leaves at Choku Bai Jo for more than a month. It has such fine leaves. I wanted to come up with some way to use it. When I created this salad in my mind I wanted to use young leaves from beetroot, but couldn’t get any suitable. When I discovered the flavour of the elm leaves was mustardy I thought it may work quite well. The flavour has a horseradish element to it too. I was lucky enough to still have some home-grown walnuts but there are still plenty available in the shops. The white balsamic is necessary to cut the sweetness of the orange. If you haven’t white balsamic, I’d suggest one of the cider vinegars. Overall though, this made for a delicious salad with great ingredients, in a well matched combination.
|2||honey cured smoked duck breasts|
|1/2||cup||elm salad leaves*|
|1||small bulb||young garlic|
|1/2||teaspoon||white balsamic vinegar|
*Replace the elm with another mustard flavoured salad green like cress. If you’d prefer a milder green, I’d suggest using pea shoots.
Cut off the skin from the oranges, ensuring you remove all of the white pith. Using a sharp knife, make an incision beside one of the membranes and remove a segment of the orange. Repeat for the whole orange, and again for the second orange. Squeeze the membranes to remove any remaining juice. Reserve the juice. Discard the membrane and orange skin.
Thinly slice the young garlic. If there is any juice or jelly with the duck, combine that with the young garlic, orange juice and salt.
Arrange the salad leaves on the serving plates with the orange segments.
Place a non stick frying pan on a low-medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the duck breasts, skin side down and heat, being careful not to let the honey glaze burn. Add the walnuts to the pan to toast. When the skin of the duck is coloured, turn the breasts over and shake the walnuts. When the breasts are warmed through (5-10 minutes) remove them from the pan. Thinly slice the duck breasts and lay one atop each of the salads.
Allow the frying pan to cool a little. Pour the orange mixture into the warm frying pan and stir to dissolve the caramelisation from the pan. This should wilt the garlic slices and concentrate the liquid. Add the white balsamic vinegar and pour over the salads. Garnish with the wilted slices of young garlic.