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Smoked Duck, Asparagus and Fig Salad

A very simple and sexy salad, taken from the Romantic recipes chapter in my book In the Mood for Food. Both figs and asparagus are known for their aphrodisiac qualities and taste fantastic with the smoked duck and fruity dressing.

serves two

takes about 15 minutes to make

1 orange

1 teaspoon cranberry sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground

black pepper

10–12 asparagus tips

100g smoked duck, sliced

2 ripe figs, cut into wedges

1⁄2 a bag of watercress

Cut the top and bottom off the orange and sit flat on a board. Following the curve of the orange, cut away the peel and pith using a sharp knife. Hold the orange in your hand over a measuring jug to catch the juices and cut out the segments. Squeeze any juice out of the remaining part of the orange.

n a screw-top jar, mix together the cranberry sauce, olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the saved orange juice. Season with salt and pepper. This dressing is now ready to pour over the salad just before serving.

Cook the asparagus tips in boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes until tender. Drain, hold under running cold water to stop them cooking any more, and then dry on kitchen paper.

Place the asparagus in a container with the duck, figs, watercress and orange segments. The salad can now be kept in the fridge until it is needed.

When you are ready to eat, wherever you are, shake the salad dressing and pour over the salad.

PS . . . Smoked duck is available to buy prepacked. If you can’t get hold of any, try as an alternative cooked chicken, cured ham or smoked salmon.

In the mood for a drink? Pinot Noir is a light red which will match the duck meat and the sharp dressing. You could even serve it chilled. Or perhaps Champagne for a special occasion?

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