Duck, rhubarb and pomegranate salad

Mark Hix wrote a duck, rhubarb and sloe gin recipe for the Independent a couple of weeks ago, which I really want to make.  The duck/rhubarb combination stuck in my head and inspired me to make a lunchtime salad with some leftover Peking duck.  This way I had at least one of my five-a-day.  Standing at the fridge door eating leftover duck from the box is both lazy and less nutritious. And it’s sunny, so salads are an excellent way of using up leftovers whilst sounding very creative.

Whilst I looked for the duck-cooked-in-gin recipe for future mental filing, I found another Hix rhubarb and duck recipe, so used the method to prep the rhubarb.  Blanching the rhubarb was the only cooking involved, scoring the lunch more points in the lunchtime convenience league.  I reckon this would also travel well to work in a packed lunch box, doubly so if you can be bothered to take the dressing separately to avoid slightly wilted leaves.  You could also bulk it up with cous cous, bulgur or rice noodles.  And pomegranate seeds would look (and taste) lovely on top, should you have any, or be an aspiring Nigella, who seems to have an endless supply and appetite for the little pink seeds.

Duck, rhubarb and pomegranate salad

About half to three-quarters of a stem of rhubarb, chopped into 3cm lengths

  • EV olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Pomegranate molasses
  • Runny honey, sugar or agave syrup
  • S&P

Leftover duck, as much or as little as you have/want to eat
Handful of lettuce leaves, chopped or ripped up a bit, according to appetite
Smaller handful of rocket

Blanch the rhubarb in boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute, depending how thick the stem is.  Drain well.  Mix the salad dressing: I used about a tablespoon of oil, a third of a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, a teaspoon of agave syrup and about half a tablespoon of pomegranate molasses, with S&P.

Let the rhubarb sit in the dressing for a little bit while you wash and dry your salad leaves.  Then toss the lettuce and rocket in the dressing, scatter the duck on top, and then the rhubarb.

I like the slight tannic tang of rhubarb with oily fish such as mackerel but I haven’t tried it with rich meats like lamb and duck.  Duck is definitely a great partner, and I’ll be sure to try it with lamb when the leftovers next align.  Pomegranate molasses added a welcome hit of sweet and sour and knitted the flavours of rhubarb and red wine vinegar together. Duck and rhubarb is definitely a combination to add to the modern classics list.

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