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Recipe: Microgreens, Preserved Figs and Smoked Duck Salad

In 1993 Virginia chef Craig Hartman asked his supplier for "baby greens," and was given tiny lettuce that he used in a salad. By coincidence, a restaurant magazine writer was in attendance, and an article about "microgreens" soon followed.

Hartman, now the chef and co-owner of Barbecue Exchange in Gordonsville, Va., offers "Sunday Morning" viewers his salad recipe that started the microgreens revolution.

Microgreens, Preserved Figs and Smoked Duck Salad by chef Craig Hartman. CBS News

Salad of Mixed Microgreens, Hickory smoked maple cured duck breast, Preserved fig, Gorgonzola Dulce, Balsamic extra Vecchio, Ligurian olive oil
By Craig Hartman

Yield: 4 servings 


2 each boneless duck breasts, trimmed and cut in half
1/2 cup maple syrup
Salt, pepper and sugar

  1. Season the duck breasts with a liberal amount of salt, pepper and sugar.  Place the breasts, skin side down, into a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cook until the majority of the fat is rendered from the skin. Do not sauté the other side, as the goal is to render the fat, not cook the duck. 
  2. Place the breasts into a 2" deep pan and cover with maple syrup. Marinate for at least 4 hours.
  3. Smoke over hickory for 20 minutes at 200 degrees. Cool in the refrigerator before serving.
  4. NOTE:  For optimum flavor, the breasts should be cooked medium-rare.

Preserved Figs:
8 each fresh slightly ripened figs, cut in quarters
¼ cup granulated sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
Zest from 1 lemon
1 pinch sea salt
2 tbsp. water

  1. Place the sugar, lemon juice, salt and water in a small sauce pot (not aluminum). Heat and dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the fig quarters. 
  2. Bring to a boil and turn to a light simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. 
  3. Place in a glass jar with lid and refrigerate.

4 oz. mixed microgreens
Light drizzle of olive oil
1 pinch sea salt
Light drizzle of extra Vecchio balsamic
4 oz Gorgonzola

  1. Place the microgreens in a medium bowl. Lightly fluff with your fingers. Be careful as microgreens are super delicate. Drizzle around 1 tbsp. of olive oil onto the microgreens and then lightly toss with your fingers as not to bruise or harm the microgreens. Add salt and drizzle around 1 tsp of balsamic over the greens. Toss lightly by hand until each green is coated.
  2. Create a small ball of greens very lightly by hand and place it onto a serving plate, remembering not to manhandle the greens so they still have integrity.
  3. Slice the duck breast thinly and arrange 4 nice slices onto the plate alongside the microgreen salad.
  4. Break the gorgonzola into small pieces and arrange on greens and duck (around 1 oz. per serving).
  5. Spoon 4 pieces of preserved figs around the duck and a few more around the plate and over the greens. Drizzle some olive oil and extra vecchio around the plate and over the duck. Lightly sprinkle with really good sea salt. Serve and enjoy.

For more info:

Check out the "Sunday Morning" 2022 Food Issue Recipe Index for more menu suggestions, from all of the chefs, cookbook authors, flood writers and restaurateurs featured on our program.

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