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Pear and Duck Confit Salad

Pear and Duck Confit Salad
        The Food Police were out in force when we posted our Easy Duck Confit recipe last Friday.  There were rumblings about our waistlines and heart health.   So I thought share some nutrition numbers to counter the impression we are on a road to hell in a hand basket.  There’s both good news and bad: The good news: Duck meat and duck fat are both lower in cholesterol and higher in monounsaturated fat than butter, dairy fat or beef fat. While that is hardly a ringing endorsement, consider that one portion of Confit comes in at 260 calories, gives you 25 grams of protein, 0 carbs and 0 sugars and gives you impressive amounts of Vitamin E, iron and selenium.  And it was also endorsed by my great pal, Michael Cox, author of “Gluten-Free: More than 100 Delicious Recipes your family will love”, because it is…Gluten-Free!
        Now I will grant you that at 18 grams of fat, this is not a dish Weightwatchers is going to endorse anytime soon.  But in moderation, which is the way we eat everyday, I think we can enjoy this tender, rich and succulent dish in small doses and this salad certainly qualifies there.  
        Hopefully, you took our advice and made extra Duck Confit over the weekend.  If not, consider doing so this weekend and come back when you’re ready to make this terrific dinner salad — full of the goodness of fresh pear, crunchy pecans and gorgeous greens and the (optional) blue cheese.
Now to our salad.   It’s easy to put together. The flavors work brilliantly.  The mustardy, shallot-infused sherry vinaigrette is made to counter-balance the richness of the duck and the pears and pecans give the dish another crunch factor.   The orginal recipe called for mixed greens (frisee, watercress, baby spinach) but we had some arugula on hand and some beautiful Bibb lettuce that we used as a bed.  The whole thing was very well received and Andrew was most impressed by such a posh offering in the middle of the week.  And it all came together in under 30 minutes.  Here’s the recipe:

Pear and Duck Confit Salad

February 3, 2019
: 2
: 10 min
: 10 min
: 20 min
: A very simple salad to prepare

You can make this a dinner salad all on its own. With a a loaf of crusty bread, some salted butter and a chilled glass of white wine, even in the dead of winter, this would bring the South of France right onto your dinner table


  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 2 confit duck legs
  • 1 firm-ripe Anjou or Bartlett pears (preferably red)
  • 4 cups mixed greens, such as frisée (French curly endive), tender watercress sprigs, and baby spinach leaves or baby arugula.
  • 2 ounces crumbled Roquefort or other blue cheese (1/2 cup), optional
  • Step 1 Whisk together mustard, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified, then whisk in shallot.
  • Step 2 Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook pecans, stirring, until golden brown. Transfer nuts with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, then season with salt.
  • Step 3 Heat skillet with any oil remaining in it over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown duck on all sides until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and tear meat into bite-size pieces and discard bones.
  • Step 4 Halve and core pear and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Add pear, greens, duck, cheese, and nuts to dressing with salt and pepper to taste, then toss gently to combine.


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