The Love Salad

Recipes: Zita Steyn
Photography: Nassima Rothacker
Book: Good Better Green

1. Score the duck skin in a criss-cross pattern using a very sharp knife, being careful not to cut into the meat. Whisk the balsamic vinegar, honey, oil and lemon juice together in a bowl large enough to fit the duck snugly, then add the garlic and rosemary. Add the duck breasts to the marinade, coating them well, then marinate, skin side up, in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

2. For the salad, line a sieve with a few layers of muslin and scoop the yoghurt into the centre. Place the sieve in a bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to strain in the fridge overnight.

3. The next day, preheat the oven to 160°∆C/320°∆F/Gas 3. Cut the beetroot into thin slices, 2mm thick, using a mandolin, and reserve any offcuts in a small bowl. Toss the beetroot slices with the olive oil and a little salt, transfer to a baking tray and bake for 35–45 minutes, removing any slices that have browned sooner, as they will taste bitter if too dark. Set aside to cool and turn crisp.

4. While the beetroot is roasting, remove the duck breast from the marinade, reserving the marinade, pat them dry and place skin side down in a heavy, preferably cast-iron, frying pan. Cook over a low to medium heat for 10–12 minutes, until the skin is crisp and brown. Do not try to rush this step, as the low temperature will help render the fat in the skin. Turn the duck over and cook for a further 2 minutes, then remove from the pan.

5. Use kitchen paper to wipe the pan clean, turn the heat up to high, return the duck to the pan skin side up and pour in the reserved marinade. Simmer for less than a minute, to reduce the marinade, then remove the pan from the heat, cover and keep warm for at least 10 minutes. The residual heat will finish cooking the duck.

6. While the duck is resting, scoop the goat’s curd from the muslin lined sieve and transfer to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir in just enough of the beetroot juice that will have collected in the bowl of offcuts to colour the cheese a lovely pink.

7. For the dressing, put all the ingredients in a glass jar, screw the lid
on tightly and shake until the honey has dissolved.

8. Put the greens, berries and radishes in a dish. Slice the duck breasts and add, along with the dressing, then toss to coat. Pile the beetroot slices on top and dollop the fresh curd to the side



Serves 4
2 duck breasts, skin on
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and bashed with the flat side of a large knife
2 rosemary sprigs

For the Salad
200g full-cream thick goat’s milk yoghurt
500g raw beetroot, peeled
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
100g mixture of beetroot greens (finely shredded if not young and tender), radish greens and baby ruby chard
200g strawberries
100g raspberries
5 large red and/or purple radishes, very thinly sliced using a mandolin"
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar (or crush a few raspberries and mix with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon each of black and white poppy seeds (or black only, if white is hard to find)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper