Oh my goodness, spring has, for once, arrived early here in the UK! In celebration of the sunshine I officially declare the commencement of salad season!
What better way to kick things off than with this gorgeously spicy and fruity duck salad. To my mind, there are few better combinations in the world than meat and fruit, except perhaps fragrant spices and fruit and this salad provides the very best of both of those combinations.
Spicy, crispy skinned duck, cool, juicy mango and crunchy, sweet pomegranate seeds are the main protagonists, accompanied by soft, baby leaf salad, radishes, avocado and the occasional hit of fresh coriander. It’s basically all of my favourite things on one plate and I just can’t get enough of it.
I know it may be cheeky of me to post a recipe that is almost entirely an assembly process, but I just had to share this, it’s too good! And besides, we all need a super simple salad in our repertoire for warm, lazy days when we’re in need of a health fix. I hope you’ll give this a go.
Spiced Duck, Mango & Pomegranate Salad
2 duck breasts
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Salt & pepper
1 bag of salad leaves
A small bunch of coriander
1/2 a mango, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 a large avocado, cut into chunks
A small handful of radishes, sliced
In a pestle and mortar finely grind the fennel seeds then mix in the cinnamon, ground cloves and some salt and pepper. Next slash the skin of the duck breasts with a sharp knife and rub the spice mix all over both sides of the meat.
Put a dry frying pan or skillet over a high heat, once it’s nice and hot gently drop in the duck breasts, skin side down and leave them to sear for 5 minutes. Turn the meat over and leave it for another 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan and slice it into chunks, return them to the pan (without the juices) and fry for another 5-10 minutes until they’re slightly crispy (removing any fat that comes out of the duck, to stop the meat becoming soggy). This salad would be just as good with rare duck, if you’re that way inclined.
From this point on it’s just an assembly job. Mix the coriander leaves in with the salad leaves (feel free to add a little oil, lemon juice and seasoning if you prefer your salad with dressing) then sprinkle over the duck, mango, pomegranate, avocado and radishes. Best served immediately, but the duck itself is still yummy the next day. Enjoy!