Quick shameless plug, I made salade landaise as a second course after eating poulet vallée d’Auge (French Chicken with Apples) and it went together beautifully 🙂 Honest to goodness, this is the best salad I’ve had all year. I know it is still February, but this was definitely better than any salad I had last year. That is how good salade landaise really is, and you’ll love it too after the first bite!
This incredible gourmet salad is known for duck and being from the Landes region. (You could have guessed that last one by the name, no?) If you Google Landes cuisine, food, history then you might have a little trouble finding what you’re looking for. That’s because Landes is a region under the province of Gascony. (Try searching for Gascony you’ll find a lot more!) Gascony produces a lot of duck, Fois Gras, confit, etc. (Would you even say produce in that case?) And so if you visit the area expect a lot of game! (Which, ironically, the duck was the only ingredient not in any store I visited when I made this dish 🙁 Sorry about that. But the salade landaise was still incredibly good! Believe me, it is much tastier when you include the duck.)
The contrast of temperatures between the fat-free lettuce and the greasy duck makes a great salade landaise. In most salads, each part (lettuce, tomatoes, etc) has roughly the same temperature. (Which works perfectly for Salade Niçoise. This is true for every salad I’ve ever had, with the exception of today’s salade landaise.)
Alright! We have arrived! Salade landaise is probably the easiest salad to make. It might look exotic and difficult, but soon you’ll discover just how simple it is to make! And so, as always, let us begin by rushing around the kitchen until we find the following ingredients.
- 250 grams (8 ounces) of thick cut bacon (cubed)
- 250 grams (8 ounces) of duck gizzards, duck breast or confit
- Lettuce leaves (washed and enough for a salad)
- 3 tomatoes (seeded, peeled, and cubed)
- 2 apples (peeled, cored, and cubed)
- 100 grams (½ cup) of sweet corn (optional)
- Croutons (toasted and grilled)
- Pecans (crushed, to taste)
- Salt and pepper
I highly recommend that you use duck, but if you can’t for one reason or another then don’t use it or try another type of poultry. And if you absolutely can’t get ahold of duck, Fois Gras, confit etc. (and don’t have time to make your own) then just leave it out (as I did 🙁 ). I will guarantee you that it won’t taste the same, but it still will be amazing. And that is the core of salade landaise. It has an awesome flavor no matter what!! (Seriously though, do your best to get the duck.)
Putting the salad together is remarkably simple! It’s important that you time these threes steps so that the meat is hot when you mix it into the salad. So, keep that in mind!
First, toss some oil into a pot and heat until hot. Then cook the bacon and gizzards until fully cooked. Set aside.
Quickly combine all the ingredients (the lettuce, tomatoes, apples, corn, pecans, and croutons) together. Quickly toss in the bacon and serve hot!
Isn’t that the easiest salad you’ve ever come across? Try it! I hope you do! (If you do, let me know what you think!)
I’ve heard that sometimes, asparagus will be included in the salad. I’ve never had a salade landaise with asparagus, and so I’ll have to try it.