Smoked Duck Salad with Grana Padano
Like Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grana Padano, is a hard cheese ideal for grating or shaving over foods. Both are staples of the Italian kitchen, but Grana is generally more grainy (hence the name) and less salty. Either one works well in this salad.
Apricot Mint Vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 6 ounces spinach, washed and dried
- 16 strawberries, washed and sliced into quarters
- 4 ounces Grana Padano, shaved (use a planer or vegetable peeler)
- ¾ cup toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound smoked duck breast, trimmed of fat and sliced
- In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, jam, and mint leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste. Gradually add the oil, pouring it in a slow, steady stream while whisking to emulsify. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, strawberries, Grana Padano, and pistachios. Reserve 2 tablespoons vinaigrette; pour the remaining vinaigrette over the salad mixture and toss to coat evenly. Arrange on a serving platter or individual plates.
- Place the sliced duck in bowl, and splash with the reserved vinaigrette to coat lightly. Arrange the duck slices on top of salad.
- Most of the vinaigrette ingredients may be mixed several hours ahead, but add the chopped mint just before serving to preserve its color and texture.
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