Duck and Watermelon Salad

I cannot think of a more pleasant afternoon than starting with a round of golf on a Wairarapa course, and finishing with refreshing food and a glass of wine. For me, watermelon is a quintessential summer fruit and it has become one of my favourite additions to dishes. I find it marries well with a rich meat like duck, whether it’s confit leg or breast. Pair this salad with a local Pinot, a scattering of friends and top it off with some laughter in the summer sun.


4 duck breasts (from Greytown Butchery or Moore Wilson’s)
Salt and pepper
1 watermelon
1 pomegranate
1 green mango or papaya (from Pinehaven or Moore Wilson’s)
100g mesclun
300ml pomegranate molasses (available at Moore Wilson’s)
Pea shoots
1 tablespoon black and white sesame seeds as garnish

Score the skin side and season the duck breast. Cook on a high heat, with the skin side down to render the fat to make it crispy. Pan-fry for eight to 10 minutes, flip over and cook for a further two minutes. Remove from the pan and rest for 10 minutes.

Dice watermelon, extract the pomegranate seeds, julienne (finely slice in matchstick size) the mango or papaya. Toss these with the mesclun and pomegranate molasses. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

To serve, slice the duck breast, top the salad with the duck, and garnish with the pea shoots and sesame seeds.

Ceviche summer salad

Featherston Market Ceviche

It’s great to wake up on a Saturday morning in Featherston. I wander down from home, enjoying the buzz created by the addition of the local market. People arrive from all directions, with a takeaway coffee in hand and a bag over their shoulder ready to fill up with fresh goodies. Rows of veges, a stall of meat and fish – so much fun for a chef as ideas spring to mind. I grab a few bright coloured capsicum, a bunch of coriander, limes and chilli – and think ceviche! A great Latin American dish of refreshing, tangy flavours.


500g fresh fish (terakihi, snapper, trevally, or kingfish)
1 red onion
1 red chilli
3 capsicum, one of each colour
1 bunch of coriander
4 limes
Salt and pepper to taste
100g chilli garlic cheese (from C’est Cheese)

Slice or dice the fish, and put into a bowl. Dice the red onion and chilli. Slice the capsicum into thin batons. Chop the coriander. Juice the limes. Combine all the ingredients and mix with salt and pepper to taste. Put into the fridge to marinate for 20 minutes.

To serve, place in a bowl by local Featherston potter, Howie Griffith, for a true Featherston experience!