Smoked duck and beetroot salad
- January 2023
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 45 min. Simmering time 1 hour
“This smoked duck salad sings of winter thanks to the earthy flavours of beetroot and hazelnut. It’s a light yet flavoursome starter that’s really easy to put together for a dinner party, as all the prep can be done in advance – you just have to assemble on the day.” Chef and restaurateur, Roberta Hall-McCarron.
Browse more colourful, seasonal winter salad recipes.
- 33.5g (8.4g saturated)
- 39.9g (38.4g sugars)
- 400g beetroot, ideally a mixture of golden and candy
- 2 duck breasts
- 200g bitter leaves (such as chicory and radicchio)
- 2 clementines, segmented or finely chopped
- 20g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
For the dressing
- 500ml beetroot juice
- 20ml sherry vinegar
- 20ml olive oil
For the relish
- 250g red beetroot
- 60g dark soft brown sugar
- 60ml white wine vinegar
- Handful smoking chips
- To make the dressing, pour the beetroot juice into a saucepan and put over a medium-high heat. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, until it has reduced into a syrup (around 50ml). Leave to cool, then whisk in the olive oil and sherry vinegar. Season to taste then reserve in the fridge.
- To make the relish, peel the beetroot then coarsely grate them into a saucepan. Stir through the sugar and vinegar, then put over a medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced to form a syrupy relish. Leave to cool, then season to taste with salt.
- Put the heritage beetroot in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a big pinch of salt, put over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for 45-50 minutes until the beetroot are tender. Drain, leave until cool enough to handle, then peel the skin off (it should come away easily) and cut into chunks or wedges. Leave to cool.
- Put the duck breasts skin-side down in a cold, dry frying pan. Put over a medium heat and cook, undisturbed, for around 5 minutes, or until the fat has rendered out and the skin turns golden. Flip the breasts, cook for another 2-3 minutes, then remove from the pan and leave to rest.
- Take a sheet of foil and scrunch it up into a little nest, then put it in the bottom of a saucepan. Fill the foil nest with smoking chips. Put the duck breasts in a steamer basket or a metal colander that fits over the top of the saucepan, then use a lighter to set fire to the smoking chips, ensuring they’re lit enough to smoulder away. Put the basket/colander on top of the pan (if you’re using a colander, cover it with more foil to trap the smoke), then leave the duck breasts to smoke for 15 minutes (don’t open the basket or lift the foil during this).
- To serve, slice the bitter leaves into large pieces, then put in a mixing bowl with the chopped beetroot and generously dress with the beetroot dressing. Cut the duck breasts into thin slices, then start building the salads on serving plates. Begin with the dressed beetroots and beetroot relish first, then add in the leaves, a little diced clementine and then the duck, with a few more leaves on top. Garnish with the hazelnuts.
Prepare everything up to the end of step 5 up to a day in advance – then all you need to do on the day is dress and assemble the salad.
Hot-smoking at home can seem intimidating, but it’s incredibly easy. Smoking chips are easily sourced from the same places you’d get charcoal for your barbecue, and the foil-nest-in-a-pan method ensures an easy clean up and stops your kitchen getting too smoky. Give it a go!
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