Recipe courtesy of Charlie Trotter

Illinois Rabbit with Wilted Arugula, Goat Cheese, Nuts, and Arugula Puree

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 50 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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2 teaspoons grapeseed oil

4 rabbit loins

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Wilted Arugula Salad, recipe follows

Goat Cheese Quenelles, recipe follows

Arugula Puree, recipe follows

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped, for garnish 

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped, for garnish

Wilted Arugula Salad:

 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 1 tablespoon minced shallot

 1/8 teaspoon minced garlic

 1 Japanese eggplant, thinly sliced

 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

 2 tablespoons white wine

 1 Bosc pear, julienned

 1/4 cup roasted yellow onion, julienned

 2 cups arugula

 Kosher salt

 Freshly ground black pepper

Goat Cheese Quenelles:

 1/2 cup goat cheese

 1 tablespoon minced shallots

 1 tablespoon chopped chives

 1 tablespoon chopped chervil 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Arugula Puree:

 2 cups arugula, loosely packed

 1/2 cup spinach

 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 2 to 3 tablespoons water

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

 Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large skillet, heat the grapeseed oil over medium heat. Season the rabbit loins with salt and pepper, and add the rabbit loins to the pan. Saute the rabbit to desired degree of doneness. With tongs, remove the meat from the heat and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Let the meat rest for 90 seconds before thinly slicing on the bias. 


  1. Evenly divide the Wilted Arugula Salad among 4 dinner plates, arranging it in the center of each plate. Place the rabbit slices in a pinwheel manner over the salad. Spoon the arugula sauce around the plate. Place a goat cheese quenelle on each plate, and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts. Top with freshly ground black pepper and spoon the reserved cooking juices around the plate.

Wilted Arugula Salad:

  1.  Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute for 1 minute. Add the eggplant and cook for 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, wine, pear, roasted onion and arugula. Cook for 2 more minutes, or until the arugula is just wilted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Reserve any cooking juices that remain in the pan.

Goat Cheese Quenelles:

  1.  In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients with a wooden spoon. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Using a small metal spoon and the palm of your hand, form quenelles of the goat cheese mixture.

Arugula Puree:

  1.  In a food processor or blender, puree all of the ingredients together with just enough water to puree smoothly. Pass the puree through a fine mesh sieve. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Warm the puree slightly in a heatproof bowl over simmering water just prior to serving.