- 4 medium duck breasts, skin on
- 2 cos or Ruby gem lettuces
- 150g bag radishes, thinly sliced
The root of a member of the mustard family, radishes have a peppery flavour and a crisp, crunchy…
- 3 spring onions, cut into long strips
Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…
- 2 pink grapefruit, segmented
Named for the fact that the fruits grow in grape-like bunches, grapefruits are the largest…
- 400g watermelon, cut into thumb-size chunks
Thought to have originated in Africa, watermelons are distinct from musk melons such as…
- good handful each mint, coriander and Thai basil, leaves picked
- 100g bag roasted salted cashews, roughly chopped
The seeds from the 'Cashew Apple' - a tree which bears bright orange fruit and is native…
For the dressing
- 1 red and 1 green bird's-eye chilli, deseeded and chopped
Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
A seasoning often used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. In Vietnam it is usually made from shrimp…
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp palm sugar or light muscovado sugar
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste (see tip, below)
A seed pod from the tamarind tree that is used extensively in South-East Asian and Indian…
Place the duck breasts, skin-side up, on a board. Score the skin all the way through, cutting down to, but not into, the flesh. Make sure you score all the way to the edges. This will ensure the skin doesn’t pull the flesh in as it shrinks.
Season the skin with a generous amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the duck, skin-side down, in a solid heavy-based cold pan, then put the pan over a medium heat. Now do not touch anything, do not move the pan. What will happen over the next 10-12 mins is that the fat under the skin will slowly melt, then the skin will brown and go crisp. Once all the fat has run from the skin, there will be a good 1-2cm of duck fat in the pan. Spoon off the excess fat, season the flesh side now (not before), then turn the duck over. Cook for 2 mins, then increase the temperature to full for just 1 min. Take off the heat, then leave in the pan to rest for 5 mins.
For the dressing, put all the ingredients into a small food processor and whizz. Remove the 2 outer leaves from each head of lettuce and discard, then peel the leaves away, one at a time. Lay them out on a big serving plate.
Thinly slice the duck, then toss with the radishes, spring onions, grapefruit, watermelon, herbs and some of the dressing. Spread over the leaves and scatter the nuts over the top. Drizzle more dressing over and serve.
TipTamarind paste is made from the pulp surrounding the seeds within the tamarind pod. It’s a commonly used ingredient in south-east Asia and India, and gives a distinctive sour, savoury taste. To give you an idea of the flavour, it’s a main ingredient in brown sauce. We used Bart Tamarind Paste, available from larger supermarkets.