2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp sea salt
8 juniper berries
Freshly ground black pepper
4 duck breasts (with skin)
1 tbsp olive oil
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
Thyme sprigs, to garnish
Quinoa salad
250g butternut squash, cut into 1cm dice
1 tbsp olive oil
6 South African plums, halved and stones removed
50g chopped roast hazelnuts
250g quinoa
Handful of basil leaves, coarsely torn
½ onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


Preparation time:
10 minutes

Cooking time:
20 minutes

South African Weisser Riesling (Rhine Riesling) will work well with this dish. Riesling has adapted well to South African’s soil and climate. This grape variety produces very full and flavourful wines which will develop well with bottle ageing. The wines have a honeyed spicy nose and a flowery sweetness on the palate.

Wine recommendations by Wines of South Africa


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan oven 180°C, Gas Mark 6
  2. Finely chop the thyme, salt, juniper berries and coarsely ground black pepper together, then rub over the duck breasts. Place them in a roasting tin and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, turning once.
  3. At the same time, put the butternut squash and olive oil in a separate roasting tin. Season and roast for 20-25 minutes, until golden and tender, adding the plums after 10 minutes, and the hazelnuts for the final3-4 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Rinse with cold water to cool quickly and drain thoroughly. Add the hot butternut squash, hazelnuts, basil, onion, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Toss to combine and season to taste.
  5. Serve the duck breasts with the roast plums and quinoa salad. Season to taste, drizzlea few drops of balsamic vinegar and serve, garnished with thyme sprigs.

Recipe created by Reuben Riffel, head chef at Reuben’s Restaurant, Franschhoek, South Africa

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