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Diana Henry's salad of smoked duck, pickled apples & spelt
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You can change the grain, using pearled barley or farro instead
For the pickled apples
200ml cider vinegar
200g granulated sugar
6 juniper berries
6 black peppercorns
½ stick of cinnamon, broken in two
2 pared strips of lemon zest
260g red-skinned apples (roughly 2 small apples)
For the spelt
4 shallots, finely chopped
½ tbsp olive oil
50g pearled spelt
100g lamb’s lettuce
1 red chicory
2 x 80g packs Rannoch Smokery Smoked Duck
For the dressing
½ tbsp white balsamic or apple balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp Dijon mustard
1½ tbsp olive oil
1½ tbsp walnut oil
1 Do the pickled apples first (the day before you want to serve them, ideally). Put all the ingredients, except the fruit, together with 125ml water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring a little to help the sugar dissolve.
2 Wash the apples, quarter, core and cut them into fine slices. Put them in a container that has a lid (or that you can cover). Pour the vinegar mixture over the apples. Cover, cool and chill until you want to serve them (they’re best eaten at room temperature).
3 For the spelt, sauté the shallots in the olive oil in a saucepan for 3-4 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the spelt, stir around in the juices and just cover with water (approx 300ml). Cook, covered, for about 20-25 minutes, until the spelt is tender then drain really well in a sieve, shaking it to remove any excess water, otherwise the dressing you put on the grain will get diluted.
4 To make the dressing whisk all the ingredients together with a fork then season. Mix 1/3 of it into the warm spelt. Dress the leaves with the rest of the vinaigrette and divide between 6 plates. Put the spelt alongside and top with the slices of duck breast. Add a little drained pickled apple slices to each plate and serve.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in December 2017.