We are lucky enough to have an on-site farm at Nick’s Cove called The Croft. Again, luckily, one of the things that seems to grow year round in West Marin are green, leafy vegetables such as kale and chard. The following recipe is for a very versatile salad using chard and duck confit. It is a warm and hearty addition to any meal or as a power-lunch on its own. The beauty is that the bones of the dish are the same year-round; however, seasonally different fruits or vegetables can be added to mix it up! Add delicata squash in the fall, strawberries in the summer, dried fruit any other time and voila!
The Croft Warm Chard Salad
1 cup duck confit, recipe to follow (bacon, pancetta, and ham are all good substitutes) 2 qt. julienned rainbow chard 1 lb. sliced strawberries 2 leeks, julienned 1 pint toasted cashews
For the vinaigrette: Combine 1 cup sherry vinegar with 1 ½ cups good, extra virgin olive oil. Add one teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, and freshly cracked black pepper. Whisk vigorously until emulsified. Set aside.
In a sauté pan, add duck confit to 2 T hot vegetable or olive oil. Crisp shredded confit evenly on all sides. Add the leeks and cashews, warm briefly, about 30 seconds. Add ½ cup sherry vinaigrette. In a small bowl combine the chard and strawberries. Pour the hot vinaigrette-duck mixture over the chard and strawberries and toss thoroughly until all of the chard is evenly coated. Serve immediately.
To make duck confit;
Season (5 lbs.) duck legs liberally with:
3 bay leaves 1 bunch thyme 3 cloves chopped garlic ½ teaspoon pink curing salt ¼ cup kosher salt 1 T black peppercorn 1 tsp coriander 1 tsp fennel seed
Let cure overnight. Rinse the cure off the legs and pat dry with paper towels. Cover in a metal baking pan with rendered duck fat. Cook 2.5 hours. Remove from the fat and shred