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Pesto and Tomato Duck Skewers

Pesto and Tomato Duck Skewers

Duck breast has a rich, distinctive flavor, so it’s the perfect meat to pair with freshly made pesto and peppery arugula – the duck can stand up to all the other flavors where chicken breast might be overwhelmed.

Magret isn’t just duck, though; it’s a specific type of duck breast from a particular breed, Moulard ducks. Meat from these ducks is even richer and tastier than the more common White Pekin ducks (also known as Long Island ducks; if you buy a duck in the US and it’s not specifically labeled, it’s this breed). In the United States, unfortunately it’s fairly difficult to find Moulard ducks; you might have to find a small farmer or order online.

Without going into all the ethical details, Magret also traditionally refers to meat from ducks that have been deliberately over-fed to make foie gras. You can decide for yourself whether that’s an ethical problem for you (here’s an interesting article in defense of it if it’s done right) and choose your duck accordingly – it’s very possible to get Moulard ducks that weren’t fed that way if you’d rather.

All the talk about ingredients makes the recipe sound like it’s going to be something really complicated and obscure, but actually it’s pretty simple: blend up the pesto, spread it over the duck breast, and arrange everything on toothpicks or skewers. The skewers make great appetizers or party picks, especially if you’re looking to try something new: you can experiment with a new kind of meat without committing to it as a main course, and if you like it, try some spiced duck breast next time!

Pesto and Tomato Duck Skewers Recipe

Servings Makes: About 20Preparation time PREP: 25 min.


Protein: 4g / %

Carbs: 1g / %

Fat: 2g / %

Values are per portion. These are for information only & are not meant to be exact calculations.

Ingredients for the duck

  • 1 lb. duck magret, pre-cooked
  • 2 tsp. homemade pesto (ingredients below; directions here)
  • 12 red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the Pesto

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Duck skewers preparation


  1. Combine the basil, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor.
  2. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped; add the olive oil and process until smooth. Season to taste.
  3. Slice the duck magret thinly.
  4. Place slices of duck on a work surface.
  5. Spread about 1 tsp of pesto on all the slices.
  6. Arrange each slice of duck with a tomato half and some arugula leaves on a toothpick or small skewer.