For the pickled cherries
- 150g red wine vinegar
- 150ml water
- 60g caster sugar
- Bay leaf
- Star anise
- Tsp coriander seeds
- 3 black peppercorns
- strip of orange zest
- Tsp salt
- Sprig of thyme
- 250g cherries, halved and pitted
- 200g freekeh
- 200g runner beans, topped and tailed and sliced into three on the diagonal
- 2 duck breasts
- Pinch of five spice powder
- Salt and pepper
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp parsley leaves, chopped
- 100g feta, crumbled
- tbsp toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
For the dressing
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- tsp red chilli flakes
- large pinch of sea salt
First make the pickled cherries. Combine the red wine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, bay, thyme, orange zest and spices in a non-reactive pan and bring to a gentle boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn down to a simmer and add the cherries, cooking for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a sterilised jar to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180.
To cook the freekeh, first wash it in a large bowl of cold water, rubbing it between your fingers to rid the impurities. Rinse in a sieve under more cold water and then cook in boiling salted water for 15 minutes, until tender. Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside.
To make the dressing, place 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a bowl with the dijon mustard, chilli and salt. Add in a tablespoon of the cherry pickling liquor and whisk until silky smooth and emulsified.
To cook the duck breasts, score the fat on the breasts in a cross hatch pattern using a sharp knife. Rub a pinch of five spice powder all over both breasts and then season well with salt and pepper. Heat a non stick, oven proof pan over a medium heat and sear the breasts, fat side down, for about three-five minutes, until golden and crisp and the fat is rendering out. Finish the breasts off in the oven for a further 3-5 minutes. Then remove from the oven and rest.
While the duck is resting, cook the runner beans in plenty of salted boiling water, until bright green and tender - about 5 minutes, drain and rinse under really cold water.
Put the runner beans in a bowl with the chopped shallots and pour over the dressing. Toss to coat and then add in the freekeh, chopped parsley and a tbsp of the drained pickled cherries. Toss together to combine and then divide between plates and crumble over the feta. Top with the sliced duck breasts and chopped hazelnuts.