This warm salad is a fresh take on everyone's summer favourite: the Salade Nicoise. Made with duck breast instead of tune, it will be a real crowd pleaser.
Remove any sinew and excess fat from the fleshy side of the duck breast. Score the skin, and place the duck breasts in a cold pan. Season the flesh with salt and pepper.
Place the pan over a medium-low heat and leave to render out until the skin is a deep golden-brown and crisp.
Turn the duck over, and cook on the flesh side for another minute or two.
Take the duck breasts out of the pan, and leave to rest until needed. Do not discard the pan, as it will be needed for the vinaigrette.
Wash the new potatoes, then place in a pan of cold, salted water. Bring up to the boil, and leave to simmer until cooked through. Drain the potatoes, and when they are cool enough cut in half lengthwise.
Blanch the green beans in boiling salted water (you can use the potato water), until they are cooked to your liking. Drain, and cool down in iced water or under a running tap.
Pick through the rocket and set aside.
Trim and peel the red onion. Slice into thin slivers, and set aside in a bowl of cold water.The cold water will remove the pungency of the onion, and keep the slices crisp.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
Toss all the salad vegetables together , and set aside.
Remove the stones from the olive, if necessary, and reserve until needed.
Warm up the duck pan over a low heat.
Whisk in the red wine vinegar, making sure to scrape up any sticky bits at the bottom of the pan. Stir in the Dijon mustard, and adjust the seasoning.
If the sauce is too tart, add some olive oil.
Drizzle the vinaigrette over the vegetables, and toss. Divide the salad amongst your plates, and sprinkle with the olives.
Carve the duck into thin slices, and fan over the salad. Serve immediately.
«If you find the vinaigrette a little too tart, substitute Balsamic vinegar for the red wine vinegar.»