Charred duck breast, beetroot and lime puree and spring crudités

- Alain FRANÇOIS

Alain-Francois_Recette-de-printemps

A springtime recipe suggested by Nicolas Guiet, Chef at the L’U.Ni restaurant in Nantes.

Serves four

  • 1 fillet duck breast
  • 200g coarse sea salt
  • 200g sugar
  • 400g uncooked beetroot
  • 1 lime
  • ½ cucumber
  • Edible flowers from plants in the garden such as garlic, cabbage, borage, nasturtiums, etc.
  • 12 pink radishes
  • 5cl cranberry juice

 

Step 1: The duck breast

Trim and remove the fat from the duck fillet, leaving it whole. Combine the coarse sea salt and the sugar, and coat the fillet on both sides with the mixture. Leave to marinate for two hours, then rinse under the tap, wrap in a clean dishcloth and leave to chill for a further two hours.
Next use a blowtorch to char both sides and leave to cool.
When the fillet is completely cold, cut into thick slices or cubes, as preferred.

 

Step 2: The beetroot puree

Wash the beetroot, leaving the skins on, and place them in a pan of cold salted water. Bring the pan to the boil and leave it to simmer until the beetroots are tender, i.e. the tip of a knife goes in easily. Leave the beetroot to cool then peel and blend all the beetroots except one to a fine consistency with the freshly squeezed lime juice. Season to taste with rice vinegar, salt and ground pepper. Leave in a cool place until required.

 

Step 3: The beetroot and cranberry sauce

Blend the remaining beetroot with the cranberry juice to a creamy consistency: the sauce should be neither too liquid, nor too thick. Season to taste.

 

Step 4: Presentation

Wash and finely slice the cucumber using a mandolin. Roll up the slices. Quarter the radishes.
Arrange the beetroot puree on the plate in a large swirl, place the duck pieces around it and garnish with the edible flowers, cucumber and radish pieces. Garnish with crisp leaves of mizuna, rocket or baby spinach. Feel free to serve with julienne-style garden vegetables (young turnips, baby carrots, spring onions or whatever’s in season).