Duck, Golden Beets, Dandelion and Sprouted Wheat

Preparation info

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  • Serves


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By Katrina Meynink

Published 2014

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You will need to begin this recipe two days ahead.


  • 5 duck breasts, skin on
  • 80 g ( oz/1 bunch) dandelion greens
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 thyme stalk
  • dandelion leaves, extra, to serve

Sprouted Wheat

  • 220 g ( oz/2 cups) milling wheat grains (hard red wheat berries)
  • 2 French shallots
  • 15 g (½ oz) chives
  • 75 g ( oz/½ bunch) flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice


  • 3 large white onions, peeled, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, chopped
  • ½ head of celery, chopped
  • 3 garlic bulbs, split, peeled, chopped
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 10 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 20 g (¾ oz/1 bunch) thyme
  • 10 bay leaves
  • 45 g ( oz/½ cup) Turkish coffee beans
  • 630 g (1 lb 6 oz/2 cups) salt
  • 220 g ( oz/1 cup) sugar

Roasted Beetroot

  • 10 baby beetroot, washed, tops removed
  • 3 large golden beetroot, washed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3–4 thyme stalks

Potato Purée

  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled, skins reserved
  • 4 thyme stalks
  • 1 garlic bulb, peeled, split
  • good quality fruity olive oil (less peppery)

Vegetable Dressing

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 25 g (1 oz) salted anchovies
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 375 ml (13 fl oz/ cups) grapeseed oil


Put the wheat berries in a bowl, cover with water and soak overnight. Drain and lay out the berries in a thin layer on a large baking tray lined with a damp tea towel (dish towel). Cover with another damp tea towel and set aside for 24 hours for the berries to sprout.

Prepare the brine for the duck by sweating the vegetables in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat until tender. Toast the spices in a small frying pan, add them to the vegetables and cook until fragrant. Add 5.5 litres (190 fl oz/22 cups) of water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 45 minutes or until the flavours infuse. Add the herbs, coffee beans, salt and sugar, steep for 15 minutes then allow to cool completely. When cold, pour over the trimmed duck breasts, cover and leave in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Put the sprouted berries in a large saucepan with 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) of water. Simmer over medium heat until tender. Cool in the cooking liquid, strain and season with salt. Finely chop the shallots, chives, parsley and lemon zest. Combine with the berries in a bowl and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to serve.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5). Place the baby beetroot and golden beetroot in two separate roasting tins and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper and scatter with the thyme sprigs. Cover each roasting tin with foil and roast the baby beetroot for 30 minutes and the golden beetroot for 1¼ hours or until just tender. Peel the beetroot by rubbing off the skins while still warm. Using a mandolin, slice the golden beetroot and set aside.

To make the potato purée, put the potatoes and skins in a large saucepan. Cover with water and add the thyme, garlic and a few generous pinches of salt to season. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until tender and thoroughly cooked but not falling apart. Drain and press potatoes through a potato ricer or mash in a bowl. Fold through enough olive oil to make the potato shiny with a slight fruity olive flavour. Season generously with salt and pepper and keep warm.

To make the vegetable dressing, blend the egg yolk, anchovies, vinegar, worcestershire sauce and soy sauce in a blender until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the grapeseed oil and emulsify until a creamy dressing is achieved. Set aside.

Blanch the dandelion greens in a saucepan of boiling water then shock in iced water to halt the cooking process. Purée in a blender and season with salt and pepper. Cover and reserve in the refrigerator until serving.

Lightly season the duck breast with salt and pepper. Score the fat. Heat a frying pan over low heat and add the duck, skin side down. Cook, rendering the fat on the breast for 5–6 minutes until it is golden brown and crisp. Drain off the fat as it renders. Turn the heat to high and sear the flesh side of the breast, then return to medium heat. Add the butter, garlic and thyme and baste the flesh until golden in colour. Cook 3–4 minutes for medium rare. Transfer to a warm plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 5 minutes.

To serve, warm the potato purée, add a spoonful of the dandelion purée and mix gently until smooth. Spoon onto the plate and add the beetroot slices and seasoned baby beetroots. In a separate frying pan, warm the sprouted wheat and herb mixture and season to taste, spooning over the beetroot and dandelion purée. Lightly coat the beetroot slices and dandelion greens in the vegetable dressing. Slice the duck breasts into three pieces and arrange on top, laying the extra dandelion greens on top.