I've arrived at duck confit salad because of an embarrassment of riches. I've had at least four legs over the past couple months (and have loved every one), but it was time to see what else this preserved item could do. Who knew? Maybe I was wasting my wonderfully cooked legs and wasn't exploring the many other options out there. I remembered seeing duck confit on a salad and started searching. When I came across this simple recipe for duck confit and pear salad, I decided to see what it could do for me and my duck fat covered friend.
The deeply flavored meat accents the salad without completely overwhelming it in duck fat goodness. And a little bit goes a long way—a leg of duck confit can be destroyed in a matter of minutes, but mixed up with a lot of other veggies, a leg can be split between two people. It's the economical choice. That said, there is something wonderful about duck fat goodness and indulging yourself in confit when you have the chance. I did feel better about myself when I finished the salad, which is always a plus. But I missed the event of eating something that had been cooked in its own fat.
I made my own duck confit, which is a long, drawn-out process, but you can make a bunch of legs at one time. If you can't be bothered to spend an entire weekend on the process, then there are some premade legs available at Whole Foods and other fine grocers.
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped
- 1 duck confit leg
- 1 Anjou or Bartlett pear
- mixed greens
- 1-2 ounces Roquefort or other blue cheese
- salt and pepper.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the duck leg and cook until well browned on all sides. Transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to touch shred the meat into bite size pieces.
Combine the vinegar, shallot, mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in the oil.
Halve the pear, remove the core, and slice thinly.
Toss the greens, duck, pear, and dressing into a large bowl. Stir until combined and then sprinkle on the Roquefort cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste