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Caesar Salad with Smoked Duck Breast

Ben O'Donoghue rustles up a twist on a classic Caesar salad while visiting Canberra in Drive Thru Australia.


  • Two heads of firm cos lettuce

  • 200 g pancetta lardoons (1 cm x 1 cm x 3 cm strips)

  • 100 g sourdough cubes (crust removed)

  • 100 g parmesan cheese

  • 1 hot smoked duck breast

  • 6 fillets of white anchovies (optional)

  • Olive oil

  • Dressing

  • 3 large free-range eggs

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

  • 250 ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley


  • 1.

    To make the dressing, place the eggs in boiling water for 3 minutes. Then remove and run under cool water to cool sufficiently to handle. Crack the eggs and spoon out the contents into a large bowl.

  • 2.

    Pound the garlic with a teaspoon of salt in a mortar and pestle to a smooth paste. Add the garlic to the eggs along with the vinegar and mustard. Whisk together well and then add the olive oil whisking continuously to combine well. Add the chopped parsley and set aside.

  • 3.

    Fry the pancetta in two tablespoons of olive oil until very crispy and remove using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Then fry the croutons in the same oil until golden brown.

  • 4.

    Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

  • 5.

    Clean the fry pan and fry the duck breast skin side down over a medium heat until the skin is crisp and golden. Remove from the pan and rest.

  • 6.

    To make the salad, remove all the large outer leaves. Separate the nice white leaves and wash in cold water and then drain well.

  • 7.

    In a large bowl toss the leaves with ½ the dressing and then arrange on a serving platter, slice the duck breast length ways into thin strips and arrange over the lettuce, dress with the remaining dressing and then scatter with the pancetta and croutons. Finally shave the parmesan over the salad with a potato peeler.

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