I adapted this recipe from one created by Valli Little from delicious. magazine. The original uses boiled beets but I prefer to use roasted gems of sweet potato and beetroot, as well as, add much more greenery. I’ve also tampered with the dressing a little bit. Regardless, it is a fantastic recipe and a very beautiful meal.
3 beetroot (or more baby beets, halved), peeled and chopped chunky
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped chunky
1 pomegranate, seeds removed and set aside
2 duck breasts, with skin
green beans, blanched and set aside
mixed salad leaves (include baby beet leaves if you have them)
6 tbsp soft feta cheese, crumbled
3 tbsp walnuts, chopped and dry roasted
(10 brussel sprout leaves, blanched 1 min with the green beans …I happened to have them so they were added to the one pictured, but I don’t usually include them)
1 tbsp cherry jam*
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
about 3 tbsp pomegranate seeds, crushed to extract their juice
Bake the beetroot and sweet potato until tender in a 180c oven with olive oil and pinch of salt. Time will depend on the size of your pieces. I tend to leave them until quite chip-like but you decide on your preferred level of ‘roasted’.
In a small bowl whisk together dressing ingredients: oil, vinegar, mustard, jam and pomegranate juice. Set aside. If your jam is hard, microwave it for a couple of seconds.
To cook the duck:
Preheat oven to 180c.
Place the duck, skin side down, in a low to medium heat oven-proof pan. Cooking the duck slowly with skin side down will render the fat out and gradually crisp the skin. Discard rendered fat (or keep it for baking potatoes). Turn over the duck to seal for 1 minute on the meat side, then transfer the pan to the oven 10 mins. Set aside to rest.
How to plate up (I tend to prepare each plate for serving but you can do one big platter for the centre of the table):
In a large bowl place the washed salad leaves and mix with 3 tbsp of dressing.
Plate in this order: salad leaves, beetroot, sweet potato, beans, sliced duck breast.
Sprinkle feta crumbs, walnuts and pomegranate seeds. (That’s my plate pictured… I was heavy handed with the pomegranate seeds on purpose. I love them!).
Drizzle with a little more dressing.
Serves two people as a main meal.
*I like a dark cherry jam but alternatives are red currant or cranberry jellies.