These tasty toasts—the Italians call them crostini—perfectly complement the roast duck, or they can become a first course on their own.

Ingredients

  • pounds duck or chicken livers
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 slices pancetta, in small slivers
  • 2 large shallots, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • A splash of dry sherry or sherry vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 baguette, sliced and toasted

Method

Trim the livers, blot on paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet over a medium flame. When the oil is hot, add the pancetta and shallots and cook until the shallots are nicely browned.

Add the livers and turn up the flame. Stir well and continue cooking, shaking the pan occasionally, until the livers are cooked through but still a little pink. Slice one to check. Add the thyme and sherry, and transfer the contents of the pan to a cutting board. Let cool to room temperature.

With a large knife, chop the livers with the pancetta and shallots to a rough paste, then put the paste in a small mixing bowl. Mash the butter into the paste with a wooden spoon. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and keep at cool room temperature until ready to serve (up to 2 hours), or refrigerate and bring to room temperature before serving.

Spread on toasted baguette slices.