Duck Confit & Cherry Salad with Creme Fraiche and Mustard Vinaigrette


A Salad of Duck Confit, Baby Lettuces, Treviso Radicchio, Scallions & Cherries  |  Crème Fraîche & Mustard Vinaigrette

Intro Collage


Oh, how I love duck confit.  The crisp skin, the unctuous flavorful meat.  There are few things better.  Seriously.  It’s up there with bacon.  Not only is the taste of it profound, the very idea of it is too.  Here, the ultimate in utilitarian food techniques—preserving ducks in the fall to enjoy throughout the winter—transforms the duck into something spectacular.  Beans you grow  and preserve yourself, whether by pickling or canning, are never as good as straight off the vine and quickly boiled.  But duck only gets better with time. ~ Michael Ruhlman, “Duck Confit: It’s What’s For Lunch


Michael Ruhlman’s words echo my own sentiments regarding this extraordinary French classic.  I have always approached duck confit as a “special treat”, indulged in once or twice a year, usually around the holidays, when entertaining guests. Although very easy to prepare from scratch at home {click here for Michael Ruhlman’s recipe}, divine intervention saved me a bit of time.  On Saturday, while shopping at the San Francisco Farmers’ market, I stopped by the Fatted Calf stall to pick up some bacon and my eye caught 4 beautiful legs of duck confit.  Already in my market cart was a bag of beautiful red cherries and freshly picked baby lettuces so, naturally, a salad featuring duck confit was bound to make it onto this week’s menu.

Fresh greens {in addition to the baby lettuces I also used some Treviso radicchio for it’s mildly bitter taste, a foil for the rich flavor of the duck} and cherries…


Cherries Collage

Tossed with a simple vinaigrette…

Vinaigrette Collage

Rich meat…



and Homemade Croutons {leftover from last night’s dinner}…


Made for a quick, flavorful {and impressive} meal ready in under 30 minutes…



Duck Confit & Cherry Salad with Crème Fraîche Vinaigrette & Mustard {adapted from Salad For Dinner, by Tasha De Serio, The Taunton Press 2013}

  • 4 large handfuls mixed baby lettuces {thoroughly washed and dried}
  • 1 small head of Treviso radicchio {trimmed, leaves washed, thoroughly dried and torn into bite-sized pieces}
  • ½ cup scallions, chopped
  • 1 pint red cherries, washed, stems and pits removed and then halved
  • 1 clove garlic, pushed through a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar, more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
  • 4 legs duck confit
  • Homemade Croutons
  1. Place lettuces, radicchio, scallions and cherries into a large salad bowl and toss gently to combine.  Refrigerate until just before serving.
  2. Make the vinaigrette by combining the garlic, vinegar, mustard, and a pinch of salt.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes.  Whisk in the crème fraîche and oil and season with black pepper.  Taste and adjust with more vinegar or salt if necessary.  Set aside.
  3. Scrape off any rendered duck fat clinging to the duck legs and set aside.  Remove the skin from the legs in pieces as large as possible and set aside.  Shred the duck meat, with your hands, into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  4. To crisp duck skin, warm a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved duck fat {you can make up the difference with olive oil} and add the duck skin to the skillet in a single layer.  Reduce the heat as necessary to slowly crisp the skin, turning from time to time, until crisp and golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Remove the skin from the pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.  Break into rustic chards and keep warm.
  5. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan, return pan to stovetop over medium-low heat and add the meat to warm through, about 2 minutes.  Keep warm.
  6. Add the vinaigrette to the bowl of greens and cherries and gently toss to coat.  Transfer the salad to individual plates.  Scatter some of the duck and croutons on top of the salad.  Top with a few pieces of crisped duck skin and serve.



K Initial


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