Duck liver salad with lentils, frisée and speck
I always buy livers the day I plan to cook them. They should be dark and glossy, fresh-smelling and without any greenish tinge or darker patches. There’s a little prep work to be done before cooking – take off any loose little bits ad trim the white sinew off too, then into a bath of milk to soak and remove any impurities. After soaking, blot them thoroughly dry on paper towel, because once they get into the hot buttery pan, they have a tendency to spit like crazy. Keep them at arms length and turn occasionally so they cook evenly, then set them aside to rest for a minute or two. I’ve served the livers with a warm lentil salad, studded with lardons of crisp speck and dressed with a piquant Sherry vinaigrette.
10 minutes prep.
35 minutes cooking
- 200 gm small green lentils
- 8 duck livers, trimmed of sinew
- 400 ml milk
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 20 gm butter, diced
- 100 gm speck, cut into lardons
- 2 eschallots, thinly sliced
- ½ garlic clove, finely chopped
- 80 ml Sherry
- 70 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ tbsp Sherry vinegar, or to taste
- 1 cup (loosely packed) frisée
- ½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Cook lentils in a saucepan of unsalted boiling water for 18-20 minutes until just tender, drain and refresh under running water.
- Drain well, transfer to a large bowl, keep warm.
- Meanwhile, soak livers in milk for 10-15 minutes, drain and pat dry on paper towels.
- Heat olive oil and butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add speck and cook for 4-5 minutes until crisp and golden brown, stir in shallots and garlic to soften slightly then transfer with a slotted spoon to lentil mixture.
- Add livers to pan and fry, turning occasionally for 4-5 minutes until browned and cooked medium-rare (be careful as the livers will spit). Transfer to a plate, tip excess fat from pan then deglaze with Sherry and simmer for a couple of minutes until reduced by three-quarters.
- Remove from heat, whisk in extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar, season to taste and pour over lentil mixture.
- Slice livers, add to lentil mixture along with frisée and parsley, toss lightly to combine and serve.