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Main Dish

Warm lavender-rubbed duck breast

Jeffrey Riggs
Del Paso Country Club, Sacramento

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Duck breast
2 six-ounce duck breasts
2 tsp. culinary lavender
2 tsp. fresh thyme
Kosher salt
Black pepper, freshly ground

Honey-lavender vinaigrette
2 tsp. culinary lavender
2 tbsp. Napa Valley ver jus
2 tbsp. wildflower honey
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil

Frisée and pear salad
3 tbsp. wildflower honey
2 tsp. culinary lavender
1 cup baby frisée lettuce, cleaned
1 cup pears, julienned
½ cup golden beets, julienned fine
6 leaves Belgian endive
3 tbsp. wildflower honey
2 tsp. culinary lavender
1 tbsp. toasted walnuts, chopped


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Duck breast
Score the duck breasts on the fatty side using a sharp knife, cutting approximately 1/8 inch into the skin in a crosshatch pattern. Rub skin side with lavender, thyme, salt and pepper, and set aside.

Honey-lavender vinaigrette
In a non-reactive pan, combine lavender and ver jus. Bring to a boil.

In small mixing bowl combine the mustard, honey, and lavender-steeped ver jus. In a slow stream, drizzle in olive oil while continuously whisking. Season with salt and pepper.

Place duck breast skin side down in a 8-inch sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cook until the skin is crispy and most of the fat has rendered, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Pour off the fat from the pan. Turn the breast over and place in the hot oven for 6-8 minutes.

Gently heat remaining honey with lavender; reserve warm until the end.

Frisée and pear salad
Toss the baby frisée, pears, and beets with the vinaigrette and place on center of plate. Slice each duck breast (8-10 slices) and arrange on top of salad. Garnish with endive leaves, chopped walnuts and drizzle with lavender-steeped honey. Serve warm.

Serves 2

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