The fresh, peppery notes of fresh rocket is fantastic paired with a contrast of flavours and textures like sweet roasted pumpkin and crunchy nuts. GSM Blend is a colloquial term for a blend of red wines and also a versatile food pairing wine. With rich fruit and subtle spice, Farm to Table GSM (Grenache, Shiraz Merlot) matches well with the gamey flavours of duck, as well as the piquancy of the rocket salad.
Ingredients4 duck breast fillets (skin on)
½ cup whole hazelnuts
½ butternut pumpkin, deseeded, peeled, cut into 2 cm squares
100g wild rocket leaves, washed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Marinade for duck1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon ground star anise
Salad dressing2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray and cook in pre-heated oven for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Place the hazelnuts on a clean tea towel and rub to remove the skins. Coarsely chop and set aside in a bowl until required.
Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pumpkin on the prepared tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in preheated oven for 7 minutes. Turn the pumpkin and bake for a further 7 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce, honey and star anise in a small bowl. Brush the duck breasts with this marinade. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the duck breasts, skin-side down, and cook for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Turn and cook for a further 4 minutes for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate and set aside for 5 minutes to rest. Use a large sharp knife to cut the duck across the grain into thin slices.
Combine the remaining oil, vinegar, mustard and sugar in bowl or jar and stir until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Place the rocket, roasted pumpkin and hazelnuts in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and gently toss until just combined.
Divide the rocket, roasted pumpkin and hazelnut salad among serving plates. Top with duck slices and serve immediately.
A salad perfect on its own or serve with some crusty bread or potatoes. And a well-deserved glass on Farm to Table GSM to top off the meal.