15 April 2010

DUCK REDUX: Duck and Lentil Tarts

Leftovers. I love ‘em, don’t you? I mean, what’s better than finding food already cooked in the fridge? That way you can re-combine it with new ingredients and make something au pif, something on the spur of the moment, something that’s never been done before. Or at least not this week.

Because there’s normally only two of us eating here, we often have leftovers. When I made cuisses de canard confit, there were leftovers. The next day I used them to make these little tarts.

To make the tart shells, I put some puff pastry in a little tart tin (these are 11 cm 4.5 inches across) and covered it with another tart tin. I weighted the top one with beans and baked them for about 10-12 minutes. This kept the puff pastry from puffing up too much, and kept the form clean. One note: on half of these I trimmed the puff pastry before I baked it, so that there was no overhang between the tart tins. On the other half, I left some puff pastry hanging out, thinking it would make a pretty puffy collar for the tarts. WRONG. The puff pastry sort of melted down around the sides of the bottom tart tin, making it impossible to get the tart shells out of the tins. We had lots of puff pastry crumbs to sprinkle on salads...

These little tarts are pretty hearty. They’ve got lentils and duck and veggies in them, and with a salad they’re a nice lunch. They’d also do for a first course if the main course was light.

Duck and Lentil Tarts

3 small carrots
2 stalks celery
1/2 bulb fennel
1 leek
1 Tablespoon duck fat
250 g / 1/2 pound lentils, cooked
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
shredded meat from 2 cuisses de canard confit
Salt and pepper to taste
4 pre-baked tart shells
  • Chop the carrots, the celery and the fennel about the size of the end of your little finger. Include the green tops of the celery.
  • Clean the leek: cut off the tough part at the top and cut the leek in half lengthwise. Holding the two halves together, wash the leeks under cold running water, making sure to check between the layers where there’s often sandy dirt lurking to chip your teeth. When they’re clean, cut them crosswise into small strips.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of duck fat left from the cuisses de canard in a large-ish pan. Add the vegetables and cook till they’re softened, about 7-10 minutes.
  • Add the lentils, mix well and drain if necessary.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice. Pour over the lentils and vegetables and mix well.
  • Add the duck meat, fill the tart shells and garnish with whatever greenery you have.
Serves 4 if they like it and 10 if they don’t.

  • For me, this is essentially a leftover dish. I used the vegetables I had. You could also add tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, onions instead of the leeks.
  • Duck and lentils are a classic pairing here, but you could use chickpeas or white beans instead of the lentils. You’d be kicked out of the confrerie des amateurs du canard, but you don’t really care about them, do you?


La Table De Nana said...

A for presentation;) Very pretty leftover meal..

Maggie B said...

We love using up leftovers and odds and ends from the fridge, especially when we come in from a long day away from home.
Thanks for the baking tip.

Kim said...

I definitely appreciate having leftovers in my fridge.

You would never know these duck and lentil tarts were made from leftovers though. Isn't it amazing what you can make with leftovers sometimes?

They look great!

Bob said...

Nice, awesome use of leftovers. And I agree, leftovers are the bomb. Heh.

Amanda said...

That looks so much better than what I am having for lunch today. Yum.

Barbara said...

Well Kate, you've done it again!
This is a lovely savory tart. I love duck AND lentils, wouldn't think about changing too much in this recipe! It looks like firstovers to me!

The Domestic Adventurer said...

Yes, leftovers are great! I usually cook dinner four to five times per week so on the other days, you guessed it - leftovers! I love to cook but I also really love leftover days too.

Your dish definitely does not look "leftover." It looks very hearty and fresh!

The Rowdy Chowgirl said...

Duck, lentils, and fennel in one dish? And made from leftovers, too? You are a cook after my own heart. Love it.

Hungry Dog said...

How gorgeous! I'll eat anything with duck, but tucked into a cute little puff pastry crust--that's too good to be true.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Anything with duck sounds wonderful to me and duck with lentils sounds like a great duo. I love the phrase au pif ;)

grace said...

if all my leftovers could be transformed into something so appetizing and lovely, i'd either make double batches of everything or eat the first round like a bird! this is terrific, kate--great method for making the tart shells!

2 Stews said...

Mmmmm duck and lentils...I agree with Barbara, sounds like firstovers to me, too!

WizzyTheStick said...

Welcome back from your vacation. I like recieps that can be adapted to what one has on hand. It's not always we have the time to go shopping specific to a recipe

~~louise~~ said...

Leftovers bring out the mad scientist in me. I just can't seem to help it, LOL.

Nothing "mad" about your dish. I love when a dish comes together especially when Duck and Lentils are the stars!!!

Thanks for sharing, Kate. It sure is good to have you back!!! Is that a new header you're sporting:)

tasteofbeirut said...

Every time I would use duck it would not feel like i am using up leftovers, rather like a fancy meal!

Bit of Butter said...

This looks so tasty!