Oh, summer! The evenings are balmy and light, and there is a new spring in our step. However, summer is a busy time for many, and you may find yourself cut short for time when it comes to dinner. The additional heat, while lovely, can sometimes make hot food seem unappealing, which is when the humble salad comes into play. One of the most versatile dishes in the world, not only are salads super healthy, but they are the perfect dish for hot summer evenings. Duck breast served warm to cold, adds a country twist and we’ve included the recipe for our favourite dressing for a final flourish.
Time: 30 mins
Ingredients (serves 4)
For the salad:
2 duck breast, skin on and scored
400g of black beans
2 large handfuls of roughly chopped spinach leaves
500g of cherry or heritage tomatoes, chopped
½ cucumber, cut into chunks
1 mango, peeled and chopped
1 large red onion, finely sliced
6-8 radishes, sliced finely
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
A good pinch of chopped herbs to garnish (optional)
Top tip: any of these ingredients can be swapped out in favour of any homegrown delicacies from your garden or allotment. Bell peppers, spring onions and sweet peas all work great!
For the dressing:
Large bunch of mint
Small bunch of coriander
Small bunch of basil
One chilli, green or red depending on preference, deseeded and chopped
1 clove of garlic
2 good slugs of extra virgin olive oil
2 limes, squeezed and zested
1 ½ tbsp white wine vinegar
1 ½ tbsp honey
For the salad:
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Season the duck breasts and place in a frying pan with the skin side down. On a medium heat, fry the breasts for 4 minutes until the skin turns golden brown. Turn over and cook for one minute to seal the meat.
Put the breasts on a baking tray and place in the oven. We recommend 10 minutes for medium rare, and 12-15 minutes if you like it more well done.
Once cooked, allow the breasts to rest and cool.
Keep aside the avocado, tomatoes and herbs. Once chopped and prepared, toss the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
Spread the salad on a large platter and scatter the avocado, tomatoes and herbs on top.
This can be put aside or in the fridge while you prepare the dressing.
For the dressing:
All of the dry ingredients can be finely chopped or blended and then mixed together with the olive oil, lime juice, white wine vinegar and honey. Any leftover dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours, so you could use it for lunch or dinner the next day!
Once at a lukewarm or cool temperature, the duck can be sliced and spread over the prepared salad. Serve the dressing on the side in a bottle or jug.
The great thing about salads is you have the opportunity to exercise your inner chef. You can be as creative as you like with the ingredients, swapping out elements for favourites or if you need to use up something in the fridge. Toasted nuts and seeds and pomegranate can be a great addition as well as homemade melba toast or croutons.
Dinner Party Ideas
Summer is a fantastic time to dust off the patio furniture and make the most of the light evenings. To celebrate a special occasion, team up this simple recipe, with a good bottle of your choice (we recommend a pinot noir or pinot grigio) and one of our unique country gifts for a personal touch. For more inspiration, check out our recipes for Delicious Summer Sides. To keep this recipe fresh throughout the seasons swap out the duck breast for grilled chicken, chunky king prawns or leave out the meat and add baked goats cheese if you have vegetarian guests.
Stag Wine Bottle Holder.