A perfect dish for the last days of summer, when the weather is cooler, summer vegetables are abundant and full of flavors and fall’s tender greens are starting to come in.
Cook the Duck
Duck breasts, halved.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. With a sharp knife score the fat of the duck breasts in a criss-cross pattern. Season the duck with salt and pepper. Warm a heavy bottomed ovenproof skillet over medium heat.
Place the duck breasts, fat side down, in the skillet to render off the fat, about 6 minutes. Reserve rendered duck fat. Turn the duck breasts over and sear for 1 minute. Turn the fat side down again and place the skillet into the oven to roast for 7 to 9 minutes, until breasts are medium rare. Let the duck breasts rest for 5 minutes then thinly slice.
Serve on a top of roasted summer vegetables and sauteed fall greens, drizzled with port reduction (recipes follow).
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 bay leaves
3 cups port wineCombine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until thickened and reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve; let cool to room temperature.
4 summer squash (about 2 pounds), halved lengthwise if large, sliced crosswise 1 inch thick
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes
2 onions, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 small cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Divide squash, tomatoes, cauliflower, onions, and garlic between two large rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat and then spread evenly. Roast (without tossing) until tender and starting to brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, let cool to room temperature and then gently remove the vegetables. Be sure to scoop out the delicious brown crust that forms at the bottom of the vegetables.
Sauteed Fall Greens
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 lbs tender fall greens such as chard, spinach, baby kale cut into bite size pieces.
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepperHeat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add greens and toss to coat. Cover and cook until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add vinegar, salt and crushed red pepper. Toss to coat and serve immediately.