Here's the Dish: Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Love This Duck Salad
Typically, a new dish gets sampled a few times before being debuted in the dining room. For Jason Bangerter, the executive chef at Toronto celebrity haunt Luma, his taste testers on a new duck salad turned out to be none other than Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, and his stylish wife, Sophie Grégoire. Having cooked for the Trudeaus before, Bangerter sent out his fledgling recipe as a surprise course, "and they loved it," he says. "Sophie said she'd definitely be back to have it again." Needless to say, the salad quickly made it onto Luma's menu.
Trained in classic French cuisine, Bangerter loves working with rich duck meat. For this recipe, he marinates a whole duck overnight in brine, then stuffs it with orange, ginger, lemongrass and cilantro before roasting. Morsels of juicy flavourful meat are tossed with julienned veggies, mango and Ontario peanuts in a sesame-chili dressing, then served on a bed of lettuce leaves. "It's simple to make and delicious," says Bangerter.
-- Executive Chef Jason Bangerter, Luma Restaurant
2 cups (500 mL) hoisin sauce
3 cups (750 mL) cooked Peking duck, shredded or julienned
1 cup (250 mL) cooked carrot, julienned
1 cup (250 mL) blanched snow peas, julienned
1 cup (250 mL) bean sprouts
1 head Bibb leaf lettuce
1 tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp (15 mL) roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) spring onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (125 mL) ripe mango, thinly sliced
1 red Anaheim chili pepper, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Place half of the hoisin sauce in large bowl. Stir in juice of 2 limes to thin sauce. Add warm duck, carrot, snow peas and bean sprouts; mix to coat well. Season with salt and pepper.
2. To serve, spoon a little of remaining hoisin sauce onto the centre of four salad plates. Place a couple lettuce leaves down to create a base or bowl in sauce. Spoon some duck salad into lettuce. Garnish with sesame seeds, peanuts, cilantro, onion, mango and chili pepper. Serve with lime wedge.
This recipe is modified for the home cook. At Luma, we use whole fresh ducks, which we brine and stuff with orange, cilantro, lemongrass and ginger, then roast in the oven.
Photography, Paula Wilson.