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Summer Grill Out Recipe

The key to grilling perfection? The green almond vinaigrette that you douse the cucumbers in after they're grilled.
Photo by Patrick Marinello

Servings: 4


for the green almond pickle:
475 grams apple cider vinegar
150 grams rice wine vinegar
80 grams demerrara sugar
40 grams honey
20 grams coriander seeds
15 grams juniper berries
10 grams fennel seeds
10 grams fresh bay leaves
10 grams lemon peel
8 grams whole black peppercorns
500 grams green almonds for the green almond vinaigrette:
330 grams sweet potato vinegar
325 grams apple cider vinegar
285 grams celery juice
255 grams rice wine vinegar
15 grams fresh lemon juice
1 cup pickled green almonds, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil for the peas:
2 tablespoons olive oil
50 grams shallots (about 2), diced
5 grams garlic, minced
500 ml vegetable stock
250 grams Ansom Mills red peas
8-10 micro carrots, halved, or 1 large carrot, diced
bronze fennel, to garnish for the grilled cucumbers:
4 Persian cucumbers
St. John's wart, to garnish
edible flowers, to garnish for serving:
seared duck breast
pickled ramps
grilled scallions
fresh radishes



1. Pickle the almonds: In a large saucepan, heat the vinegars, the sugar, honey, coriander seeds, juniper berries, fennel seeds, bay leaves, lemon peel, peppercorns, and 900 grams water over high and boil. Reduce the heat to low and steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Cool liquid to 60°C before pouring over top of washed green almonds. Store in a sealed container for at least 1 week before using.

2. Make the vinaigrette: In a medium saucepan, heat the vinegars, celery juice, lemon juice, and 285 grams water over medium heat. Stir in the pickled green almonds and olive oil, and keep warm.

3. Make the peas: In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add in the stock, peas, and 750 ml water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, covered, until the peas are tender, about 1 hour. Stir in the carrots and garnish with the bronze fennel.

4. Grill the cucumbers: Light a grill. Add the cucumbers and grill, turning as needed, until charred all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer the cucumbers to a serving platter and garnish with the St. John's Wart. Spoon some of the vinaigrette over the top and garnish with the edible flowers.

5. To cook the duck breast, place duck skin side down in a 12-inch skillet and heat over medium-high. Cook, without flipping, until the fat is rendered and the skin is crisp, 5–6 minutes. Flip duck and cook until browned and to desired doneness, about 3 minutes for medium rare or until an instant-read thermometer Inserted into the thickest part of the duck reads 130°F. Transfer duck to a cutting board. Let the duck rest 10 minutes before thinly slicing on an angle. Serve with the grilled cucumbers, pickled ramps and grilled scallions, and fresh radishes.

From Dirty Work: A Summer Duck Feast with Daniel Burns of Luksus