This salad is full of flavour. Bitter greens cut through richness of the confit duck, the pear adds sweetness and the walnuts texture. While pinot noir tends to be a typical wine match for many duck dishes, we found a rose worked better with the bitter greens - perfect for a lighter summer meal.
Step 1: Pear & Fennel Puree
Place a small saucepan on low heat. Add canola oil, fennel and pear, and then stir to mix together. Cover with a lid, and cook slowly for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft, with no colouring. Transfer to a blender, and blitz until smooth. With the motor running, drizzle in the walnut oil & blend until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until required.
Step 2: Duck Confit
For the duck legs trim off any excess fat. Place the legs in a bowl. Rub in the chopped herbs, minced garlic, pepper and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for a couple of days in the fridge.
Pre – heat oven to 150 degrees.
To cook, place the duck legs so they fit snuggly in an ovenproof dish. Melt the duck fat and pour over the duck legs then cover with tin foil. Place in the pre-heated oven. Check the duck legs after 2 hours, then at 15-minute intervals until tender and the duck pulls away from the bone easily.
Once cooked, remove the dish from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate still submerged in the fat until required.
Step 3: Cooking & Serving
Place a large skillet on a medium heat. Add a splash of canola oil, then the duck legs, skin side down. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown and crispy, then flip and heat through on the reverse side. Remove from the skillet and rest.
Place the wild rocket, witloof, raddichio, parsley, celery leaves, pear and toasted walnuts into a mixing bowl, then dress with apple syrup and walnut oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Pull the crispy duck meat off the leg bone and mix through the bitter salad.
Spoon some pear and fennel puree onto the bottom of your serving dish. Top with the bitter salad, making sure each helping gets a mixture of all the ingredients.
Photogrpahy by Sarah Grace