Warm Duck Salad with Caramelized Beets

Warm Duck Salad with Caramelized Beets recipe
Photo: Lennart Weibull
Prep Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins

You may think that tangy oranges are the best partner for rich duck breast—until you try beets, that is. They're caramelized here for sweetness, then tossed with grapefruit segments (the citrus with a sharper bite). Complete the update with a bright, herby sauce that comes together right on your cutting board.


  • 1 pound red beets (about 2 medium)

  • 1 pound golden beets (about 2 medium)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 medium grapefruits, such as ruby red and oroblanco

  • 1 pomelo

  • 1 very small clove garlic

  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, mint leaves, or a combination

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted

  • 2 boneless duck breast halves (1 ¼ pounds total), patted dry

  • ½ cup mixed purple microgreens, such as radish, red shiso, and amaranth, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel beets and slice into 3/4-inch-thick wedges. Toss with oil; season with salt and pepper. Place beets on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment; cover baking sheet with parchment-lined foil. Roast until beets are tender and golden brown on one side, 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover, flip, and continue to roast until golden brown on second side, 5 to 10 minutes more.

  2. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, remove peels and white pith from grapefruits and pomelo. Working over a small bowl to catch juices, carefully cut between membranes to remove segments. Squeeze juice from membranes into bowl.

  3. Using the flat side of a heavy knife, finely mash garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt on a large cutting board to make a paste. Chop parsley and coriander seeds and combine with garlic mixture on cutting board; season with pepper.

  4. Using a sharp knife, score duck breasts, cutting through fat but not flesh, at 1/2-inch intervals to create a crosshatch pattern. Season both sides with salt and pepper and let stand 10 minutes. Place duck breasts in a cold, ovenproof nonstick skillet, skin-side down. Cook over medium heat until skin is golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.

  5. Flip duck breasts, spoon off fat (reserve for another use; see cook's note) and transfer to oven, skin-side up. Roast until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of duck registers 135°F, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to herb mixture on cutting board; let stand.

  6. Toss beets, grapefruits, and pomelo with 2 tablespoons reserved citrus juice and a drizzle of oil; season with salt and pepper. Slice duck on top of herbs, allowing drippings to mingle with them to create a sauce. Transfer beet-grapefruit salad and duck to a platter; spoon herb sauce over top, sprinkle with microgreens, and serve.

Cook's Notes

Rendered duck fat is delicious tossed with vegetables before roasting and makes extra flavorful fried rice. Strain it through a fine-mesh sieve and store in the refrigerator for up to one week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

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