Crisp-skinned duck, lentil, broccoli and walnut salad recipe

If it's too hot, sub in tinned lentils for this summery duck salad.
If it's too hot, sub in tinned lentils for this summery duck salad. Photo: William Meppem

Summer eating should be easy-going and relaxed – food you can cook in advance, then eat at room temperature. Seared duck breast is sliced and served – pink and tender – with a chilled-out salad of lentils, broccoli, radish and walnuts speckled with poppy seeds.


4 duck breasts

sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

300g raw lentils, rinsed

1 red onion, halved and finely sliced

150g broccoli florets

2 or 3 pink radishes, finely sliced

lebanese cucumber, cut into small chunks

2 tbsp walnuts, toasted

handful wild rocket or baby spinach leaves

1 tsp poppy seeds

For the dressing

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp red wine or sherry vinegar

1 tbsp honey


1. Combine lentils, half the sliced onion and one litre water in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 25 to 30 minutes, until lentils are tender, and drain.

2. Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the duck in a criss-cross pattern. Rub sea salt and pepper into the skin and set aside.

3. In a dry pan, sear the duck skin-side down over gentle heat for 10 minutes, until the fat melts and the skin is crisp. Pour off the fat (cool and refrigerate for future use), turn the breasts and cook for five minutes or until just firm to the touch. Set aside to rest.

4. Pulse the broccoli florets once or twice in a food processor to break them up. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Add the rocket leaves, broccoli, cucumber, radish, walnuts and remaining sliced onion and toss well. Serve with the sliced duck and scatter with poppy seeds.

Tip: Skip cooking your own lentils if it's too hot, and open a can.

For a chilled-out summer dinner, serve Jill's creamy watermelon ice-cream slice for dessert.