The duck cooking class workshop turned out really well. I'd had trouble trying to find a way to use a whole duck for the class. I knew what elements I wanted so it came to me to treat the dish as a kind of salad. And to contrast the sweet pear sauce with something bitter like the dandelion greens. The surprise is the rutabagas! When roasted they become super sweet and caramelized. We braised the duck legs in Moscato and pears, shredded them and tossed them with the roasted rutabagas and dandelion greens. Then reduced the sauce and blended it with the pears to thicken. The breasts were seared, crisping the skin and medium rare on the inside. Not everyone enjoyed the skin but it was prepared well for those that indulge.
The first course was a tart, in the loosest sense of the word. I thought about French tartines where they take toasted bread and pile up ingredients for a sort of open-faced sandwich. We made parmesan waffles, then a spread of reduced portobello mushrooms and topped that with roasted butternut squash. A little wilted escarole was served along side.