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Duck & Strawberry Salad with Rhubarb Dressing

May/June 2008

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Strawberries provide a sweet counterpoint to rich duck breasts. Here, they meet in a quick salad for two, dressed with a rhubarb vinaigrette. Showcase the fruity, tangy dressing and the smoky grilled duck with the smoky, raspberry character of a Washington State Syrah.


Duck & Strawberry Salad with Rhubarb Dressing

Makes: 2 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups thinly sliced fresh or frozen (not thawed) rhubarb
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 boneless duck breasts, (about 1 pound total; see Ingredient Note), skin removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil, or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups baby romaine lettuce, or mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans, (see Tip)

Preparation

  1. Bring rhubarb and water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Uncover and continue simmering for 7 minutes more. Pour the rhubarb into a fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl. Set aside to drain, collecting the rhubarb juice in the bowl.
  2. Preheat grill to medium or place a grill pan over medium heat.
  3. Season duck breasts with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Oil the grill rack (see Tip) or coat the grill pan with cooking spray. Grill the duck, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 150°F for medium, 4 to 8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Transfer to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add sugar snaps; cook for 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water until room temperature.
  5. Discard the rhubarb solids in the strainer. Whisk oil, honey, vinegar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper into the rhubarb juice. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dressing.
  6. Toss lettuce, strawberries and the sugar snaps with the dressing in the large bowl. Slice the duck; divide the salad between 2 plates and top with the sliced duck. Drizzle the salads with the reserved dressing and garnish with pecans.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the dressing (Steps 1 & 5) for up to 5 days.
  • Ingredient Note: Boneless duck breasts range widely in weight, from about 1/2 to 1 pound, depending on the breed of duck. They can be found in most supermarkets in the poultry or specialty-meat sections or online at mapleleaffarms.com or dartagnan.com. After the skin is removed, an 8-ounce duck breast is just the right size for one serving.
  • Tips: To toast chopped pecans: Place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
  • To oil the grill rack: Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray.

Nutrition

Per serving: 391 calories; 20 g fat (3 g sat, 8 g mono); 87 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrates; 28 g protein; 8 g fiber; 668 mg sodium; 1025 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (140% daily value), Vitamin A (70% dv), Folate (45% dv), Potassium (33% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 fruit, 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 3 fat


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