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Bitter Greens with Duck Breast and Cherries

In this main-course salad, sweet cherries and bitter greens complement the richness of seared duck breast. For the bitter greens, try red Asian mustard greens, watercress or dandelion leaves torn into bite-size pieces, or a blend. You can also use additional whole baby arugula leaves.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small heads radicchio
  • 1 cup baby arugula leaves
  • 1/2 cup torn bitter greens
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 whole boneless duck breast
  • 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved, or 1/4 cup dried tart
      cherries

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, 1/2 tsp. of the salt and the pepper. Add the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly until the dressing is well blended. Set aside.

Using a sharp knife, cut away the hard white core from the base of the radicchio. Cut the head lengthwise into slices 1/4 inch thick, then separate the layers and remove the hard V-shaped core. Put the cut radicchio into the bowl with the vinaigrette. Add the arugula, bitter greens and parsley and gently mix. Set aside.

Pat the duck breast dry with paper towels. In a fry pan over high heat, warm the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. When it is hot, add the duck breast, skin side down. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until crisp and golden brown underneath, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn the duck over and cook until lightly browned on the other side, about 4 minutes. Cover the pan and cook until the duck breast is medium-rare, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly.

Place the duck breast on a cutting board and separate the breast halves. Cut each half crosswise into slices 1/4 inch thick.

Heap the dressed radicchio mixture onto a platter and arrange the duck slices and cherries on top. Serve warm. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Salad of the Day, by Georgeanne Brennan (Weldon Owen, 2012).