The secret to this fresh whole foie gras salad is finding the proper fresh force-fed goose liver.  In the U.S., you can order fresh duck foie gras from D’Artignans (who also produces a beautiful cookbook entitled Foie Gras by Michael Ginor if you come to love foie gras) or from Hudson Valley Farms.  Rebecca and Marc’s relationship was sealed by Sauternes and foie gras, so it has a special place in our hearts.  The goose liver is not available in the US, unless you hand-carry it back from France.  The foie gras industry has long recognized that the mulard ducks, sterile crossbreeds of the moscovy and pekin ducks, stood up well to force-feeding and produced excellent livers.  The livers should remain in the individual vacuum seal package until just prior to serving, of course refrigerated., where it will keep for up to a week.

In every country, one can buy the jars of foie gras, but unless one finds oneself in a place where foies gras is abundant, it is generally better to buy the cans or jars of foie gras already made than attempt to prepare them oneself.  The only question is finding a good source.  One of the best Hungarian brands is Libamaj.  Whole foie gras preserved in a jar is specialty of Gascony, Grance’s principle foie gras-producing region.  The enteir is best after it has aged, unopened, in a cool, dark place for two years.   Open and thinly slice on warm toast.  Sprinkle with sel gris and freshly cracked black pepper.  Fresh figs make a wonderful side, together with the fat for dipping.  If not in France lately, visit www.dartagnan.com.  The jar can keep two years and most think it is best aged, but once opened, the jar should be consumed in a week, which we have never had a problem with, as it only lasts one day at the chateau.

Ingredients

  • 6    oz. foie gras or 6 oz. lardo or 1 large smoked duck breast, thinly sliced, or 1/2cup chopped sauteed pancetta
  • 2    heads raddichio, quartered, cored and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1    head frisee, cleaned, white and yellow leaves only
  • 2    pink grapefruit, peeled and cut into segments
  • 1    T. sesame seeds, toasted
  •      Fleur de sel (sea salt) and freshly ground pepper
  •      Grapefruit vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Directions
Place the raddichio, frisee, grapefruit segments and sesame seeds in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the salad with a generous amount of the grapefruit vinaigrette.

If using the foie gras,cut the foie gras into thin shavings with very sharp knfe. Toss with salt and pepper and a small amount of the grapefruit vinaigrette and sprinkle on top of the salad. (If using lardo, prepare in the same way as the foie gras. If using pancetta or smoked duck breast, toss with the other ingredients of the salad.)

Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1/2   c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4   c. water
  • 1/4   c. grapefruit juice
  • 1/2   c. champagne or white wine
  • 1/4   c. fish sauce
  • 3/4   c. olive oil
  • 1/4   c. hazelnut oil
  • 1/4   c. sesame oil
  •       Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions
In a small pot, simmer the sugar and water until dissolved. Cool completely.

In another pot, reduce 1/4 cup of the sugar syrup with the grapefruit juice until thick and syrupy. Cool and transfer to a stainless steel mixing bowl. Whisk in some salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the champagne and fish sauce to dissolve. Slowly whisk in the oils to emulsify. Chill until ready to use.