I decided to make this salad with brussels sprouts, as I had a green salad for lunch. Either will work, but the brussels turn a fun shade of pink with the beets!
I buy the duck leg confit prepared; because it is a huge production to make and D’artagnan has a good one and their products have a wide distribution. I split one for my husband and me and after the fat is removed, it is more like a serving of bacon—which is a good substitute if you don’t want duck.
A tip on the pecans and for all nuts and seeds: freeze them and they will last at least a year. I stock up at Trader Joe’s and always have pine nuts, pecans, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds on hand for cooking.
If you have not tried it, walnut oil is delicious and fragrant. I use it occasionally for salads and keep it stable in the refrigerator.
You can prepare the beets ahead of time, as they take a long time to cook. Roasting them in foil keeps them moist.
Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecans, Duck Confit and Manchego Cheese and Walnut Dressing
Serves 8 as side, 4 main course
1 ½ pounds brussels sprouts, slicer attachment on food processor or cut in half and hand slice thin
¾ cup pecan, toasted and roughly chopped
2 duck confit legs
3 ounces manchego cheese, roughly chopped
Prepare beets: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets, wrap in foil and bake, 1-1 /2 hours, depending on size. When cool, remove skin and cut into small chunks. Shred duck; I remove and discard fat, but some people like it. Heat in oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Combine everything and let sit for about 30 minutes to wilt brussels sprouts slightly. The beets will turn the brussels pink!
Walnut Oil and Lemon Dressing
1/2 a lemon
1/3 cup walnut oil
1 garlic clove, chop if whisking
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper
Put ingredients in a mini food processor or whisk together.
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