Duck Confit & Lentil Salad
I have had these 2 cans of duck confit that I brought back from an Ile St. Louis specialty shop last September sitting in my cupboard, with high hopes of making a cassoulet this past winter.
However, winter has come and gone, and no cassoulet was made.
It is now spring, but feels more like summer, so you know the French duck, sausage and bean casserole will have to wait till next year's chilly temperatures.
Reading thru the Best of the L.A. Times Recipes, I found Regina Schrambling's recipe for a duck confit and lentil salad. It had the word salad and lentils in the title, and I was hooked.
I have been reading Regina's blog Gastropoda for years. She is a hilarious food writer and NYC restaurant critic who writes for various news publications and magazines, I had no idea that she actually cooked too!
I am also including Luisa's link to the recipe, because she shows a photo of the finished product as well as easier recipe instructions.
Make the lentil salad first:
1 cup of dried Lentils du Puy (French green lentils)
1 leek, white part only, diced or chopped
1 carrot, peeled and cut in half (I diced mine and kept it in the salad...read on)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole (to be removed later)
2 bay leaves
After you have sorted and rinsed your lentils, put them in a heavy pot with 2" of water to cover.
Add the chopped leeks, whole garlic cloves and carrots, 2 bay leaves, some salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 17-20 minutes until lentils are still a bit firm, not mushy.
Drain the liquid and remove the garlic cloves, bay leaves and carrots (I left my carrots in because I liked the color and flavor in a lentil salad).
2 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons of champagne or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup hazelnut oil (I used olive oil)
salt and pepper
Whisk together to form an emulsion and add all but a tablespoon of the dressing to the warm lentils. Set aside.
Now make the duck!
2 pieces of duck confit (you can make your own w/ duck legs, click here for method)
Lay the duck legs on a foil-lined broiler pan. Broil them 6 inches from the heat source, turning once, until the skin is well crisped and the meat is warmed through, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Using a fork and knife, shred or chop the meat and skin into rough pieces, trimming excess fat.
The rest of the salad ingredients:
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon (I did not use, not a big fan)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 small head frisée, washed, dried well and torn into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup toasted, skinned and coarsely chopped hazelnuts
Add the meat to the lentils and mix well. Add the chives and tarragon and salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, toss the frisée with the remaining 1 tablespoon vinaigrette and distribute it among 4 salad plates. Top with the lentil mixture. Sprinkle with hazelnuts.
This is a great hearty main dish salad for any season.
C'est Magnifique! Bon Appetit!