Gesier Salad: What’s in it and how to make it.

Admittedly, this dish isn’t common here in the US; I’ve never even seen it outside my parent’s house. Even so, I think it’s worth knowing what this is because it is extraordinarily tasty. If you ever do see it in a restaurant, please consider ordering it. Just so you know, I don’t think it’s likely that you would easily be able to make this at home as the ingredients would be difficult to source unless you knew a good butcher or a specialty shop. Gesiers aren’t expensive or rare, they just don’t seem to be a commonly purchased item. My family brings our own supply back from France when we visit. Our suitcases are always chock full of interesting foods and we always make room for things like gesier, good pâté, wine, mustard, cornichons, etc.

Gesier Salad

Let's see... nuts, potatoes, mixed greens, French vinaigrette. Yeah, I'll have that.

The salad itself is deceptively simple for something that packs this much flavor. The tender gesiers are basically umami delivery mechanisms that punch up all the flavors. The wonderful savoriness is cut by the earthy mixed greens and the light acidity of the vinaigrette. A handful of fresh nuts goes a long way, rounding out the textures in the salad.

Oh, I guess I haven’t mentioned what a gesier is yet (and that’s not entirely accidental). People enjoy this dish until I spoil it by telling them what they are eating. Don’t worry though, it’s just duck. Well, it’s not just duck, it’s the duck’s gizzard. I know, I know, that might sound a bit odd, but this is actually pretty good. I guess the best way to describe it would be to imagine if the dark meat of a duck (or chicken) was more, uh, just more. It’s very flavorful, so you don’t need much. The amount in the salad is great because it’s not overpowering and well balanced by the other flavors.

Don’t be nervous though, if this isn’t your thing I won’t surprise you with a plate of it if you come over for dinner. But if you want to try it, I think you’ll be quite pleased. (Give me a heads-up and I’ll try to get a hold of some more!)

Simple Gesier Salad

My mouth is watering as I type this. This looks so good. Savory, slightly bitter from the salad, a touch of acid from the vinegar offseting everything... I really need to get some more of these.

In case you do find a good source and want to make it, here are two ways I suggest serving it. The first (image directly above) is an extremely basic salad that puts the gesier front and center. The second method (see the image at top of page) has more ingredients, including potatoes and nuts, which complement the rest of the flavors.

Simple Gesier Salad
Ingredients
about 2 gesiers per person
mixed baby greens or salad de mâche
basic french vinaigrette (See this post for the recipe)

Directions
Salad de mâche was used here.
1. Heat a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Cut the gesiers into wedges or slices. Add some oil to the skillet and toss in the gesiers. Cook for several minutes until slightly browned.
2. Make the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Add the salad and mix to coat with a thin layer of dressing.
3. Serve on the plate with the gesiers on top of the salad.

If you have any crusty French bread, serve that along side it. You know this looks good. It is. I’d much rather eat a gesier salad than something like this, wouldn’t you?

Cutting gesier.

Here, my mom is cutting the gesier into wedges. Thanks for dinner!

Searing gesier.

Sear them briefly in a hot skillet before serving.

Gesier salad with potatoes and nuts
Ingredients
about 2 gesiers per person
mixed baby greens or salad de mâche
basic french vinaigrette (See this post for the recipe)
oven roasted potatoes
Crushed walnuts

Directions
We had some left over roasted potatoes that we used for this dish. If you don’t have any, or want to quickly make some simply cut some potatoes into even, bite sized cubes and toss lightly with olive oil and a touch of salt and pepper. Bake them at 375F for 30-45 minutes, until they become golden brown.

1. Heat a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Cut the gesiers into wedges or slices. Add some oil to the skillet and toss in the gesiers. Cook for several minutes until slightly browned.
2. Make the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Add the salad, most of the nuts, and the potatoes. Mix to coat everything with a thin layer of dressing.
3. But a bed of dressing on a plate, add some of the cooked gesiers and a few more nuts.

Gesier salad with potatoes and nuts

This isn't something you'd find in every home. Enjoy it.

As a bonus for reading all the way down to the bottom, here is the can of gesiers from Verdier. He makes pâtés and other ‘canned’ meats that we can easily transport back on the plane. My grandfather actually used to live near him and we always eat some of his products when I go visit my family in France. He runs a small operation that consistently produces quality foods.

Canned gesiers

This guy makes terrific pâté's too. I really hesitate to eat the ones I have because I can't easily get more.

Related posts:

4 comments to Gesier Salad: What’s in it and how to make it.

  • Michèle Jones

    Yes, I love it too!

    One suggestion, I would use walnut oil in this vinaigrette

  • Paul Lanfermeijer

    Great!!
    As a Dutchman who lives in France I always get the “Salade Gesier” in my little restaurant here. They use the gesier of the chicken and put some slices of a boiled egg also in the salade!
    When you have the opportunity to order it in a restaurant: try it!!

  • Rose

    Nice recipes & love gizzards after living in France for awhile. The thing is it’s a bit misleading as you cook the gizzards from a tin & not from fresh which is entirely different & takes a lot longer as I’m sure you know. I’m guessing there’s alot of folks out there who’ve found it very rubbery when cooked from fresh….
    Sorry to be a pain but I learn’t the hard way !!

  • @ Rose, Good point,that’s absolutely correct. I often use the canned version because it’s easier for me to bring back to the US.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>